Downtown Phoenix dons new label to lure locals, tourists

Downtown Phoenix[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.]

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