[Source: Jahna Berry, Arizona Republic] — Downtown Phoenix is giving itself an image makeover to raise its profile, both among out-of-state visitors and Arizona residents. Following the lead of other major cities, Phoenix is looking to establish its own brand, the same promotional strategy that can launch a successful coffee chain or compact car. Las Vegas is known as an adult playground. Austin is known as a live-music destination. Phoenix hopes to similarly set itself apart. Its new brand: “Arizona’s urban heart.”
“When we see downtown Phoenix, so much of Arizona comes here because it’s a political center, a business center, an education center,” said Eric Kingsbury of SHR Perceptual Management, the firm that the Downtown Phoenix Partnership paid $160,000 to help shape the new brand.
The brand touts Phoenix as the best place to have a cosmopolitan experience in Arizona, said Kingsbury, whose firm’s clients include Volkswagen. A new brand alone won’t draw more tourists overnight. The partnership says this is the first step in a years-long process to build an identity for downtown.
Phoenix has a long way to go, partnership CEO David Roderique said. “Yes, it’s a bit of a stretch” to say Phoenix is among the most dynamic metropolitan areas of the West, Roderique said. [Note: To read the full article and viewer comments, click here. To read Arizona Republic columnist E.J. Montini’s 3/4 critique of the new logo, click here. To read the Arizona’s 3/7 editorial about the new branding campaign/logo, click here.]