After considering dozens upon dozens of options, the East Valley Partnership announced its new branding effort for the region it calls home — a move that doesn’t stray too far from its roots, but also incorporates a more widely-known entity.
At a luncheon June 12 — the event was EVP’s “SRP Forum: East Valley Evolved” — Partnership president and CEO Roc Arnett unveiled the new name the organization will use to promote the virtues of the region: "Phoenix East Valley." The name also came with a logo featuring an orange arrow pointing east above the phrase “PHX East Valley.”
He said the goal of the new name is to link it to a city that is better known outside of the state — Phoenix, he said, is the largest state capitol and sixth largest city in the country — and follow the path set up by existing entities who have already embraced their well-known neighbor. Those include Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport and the Phoenix Marriott Mesa.
He also cited the shift the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim professional baseball team, which has associated itself with California, Los Angeles and Anaheim during its existence, made to its current name in 2005. Even the site of the Wednesday event itself — Marriott Phoenix Tempe at the Buttes — follows the same lead.
“We wanted to leverage the positives of the cachet of Phoenix and create a trademark or logo for the East Valley region,” he said.
Arnett said the East Valley Partnership came up with the name after considering 100 alternatives, and with input from Denver-based firm Atlas Advertising. During the forum, Atlas Advertising CEO Ben Wright outlined the research that went into the recommendation, which included surveying corporate advisers about the cities that make the first or second cut when deciding where to locate a new project.
The consensus Wright discovered was a lack of difference in companies’ opinion of the East Valley and the greater metro area.
“They do know Phoenix; they do not know the East Valley,” he said.
Although the companies didn’t see much of a difference between the two, Wright said the overall impression of the Phoenix area was positive when compared to other southwestern cities, with Phoenix earning high marks for having low-priced real estate, an educated workforce, high growth and world-class airports and universities.
Promoting those assets and others like the technology industry is one of the main reasons Arnett cited for the new marketing effort, as the hope is to lure in companies from other states and even on a global level.
“We know this region is special and is doing great things and we want those decision-makers at businesses in California or Ohio or Minnesota or Atlanta or maybe even Texas to know what a special place this is and we want the site selectors who help them choose sites to know it as well,” he said.
One thing the East Valley Partnership did not have on hand was an official tagline to go with the new name. It did, however, have four options it presented to the forum’s audience and let the members use an automated clicker at their table to select the one they liked the most. Of the four options — “Where bright thinking works,” “Where ingenuity shines,” “East of Phoenix. Far from ordinary” and “Where Arizona creates for the world” — the lattermost earned the plurality of votes from the audience.
Arnett said East Valley Partnership might not use “Where Arizona creates for the world” as the tagline — he said the organization has to do more research to see if anyone else is using it — but he said the final decision will follow the same line of thinking.
“We do not want to just have a logo and tagline and be done with it. We want to market and promote this region and to be champions for it just as so many of you already are. That is our plan from here,” he said.
He added the official launch of the tagline and advertising campaign is expected to come toward the end of the summer.
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