The city of Spokane, WA enjoys a lovely natural setting with a mild four-season climate. It features an urban river gorge winding through downtown, a vibrant shopping and dining scene, lively college campuses, and great urban amenities—without the traffic, density and logistical hassles that often compromise city living.
However, Spokane was perceived as “the same” as it’s competitors—and not particularly recognized as a “destination.” So when the city’s tourism board, Visit Spokane, began an effort to attract more conventions and tourists, it realized the need to clearly differentiate Spokane from other similarly-sized destinations—and give visitors a reason to choose Spokane.
Visiting Spokane understood that tourism is essentially the front door to economic development in the entire region, so it was vital to the mission that the new brand be embraced by the whole city.
Over 1,200 interviews were conducted with visitors and residents. Additionally, a Brand Ambassador Council was set up—composed of 16+ major organizations in Spokane including corporations, universities, small businesses, non-profit organizations, civic partners and other key stakeholders to advise and consult during the brand process.
The research revealed some key drivers that differentiate the city, including a diverse food and restaurant scene that showcases local cuisine; a hassle-free airport; year-round festival programming; outdoor escapes; and easy access to urban amenities. People enjoy the city for it’s lively food culture, civic engagement, and relaxing, friendly atmosphere.
Based on this research, a brand position was developed that highlights Spokane’s unique natural geography combined with its creative, enterprising spirit—a vibrant metropolitan center serving as a cultural, economic, educational and social hub of the Intermountain Northwest.