Creative by Nature
Click here to see a quick summary of the brand development process and the brand expression.
Click here to view the Spokane Regional Brand guidelines.
Want to be on a contact list to receive updates about the brand?
Send us an email at SpokaneCreativebyNature@VisitSpokane.com and we’ll send you updates. If you have questions you may also send them to this email address.
What is a brand?
A brand is a promise of value and a difference that will motivate people to be interested to learn more and make a decision to purchase or experience it.
What are the objectives of the new brand?
- To create economic opportunity and commercial advantage by having greater Spokane be better known, understood and differentiated from the competition.
- To develop a consistent message about Spokane so that people understand the essence of Spokane, and when they hear “Spokane” there is name recognition as well as an idea of what Spokane means and represents to people.
What is the brand based upon?
Spokane’s brand stakes our claim as the Capital of the Intermountain Northwest. This position establishes our place and identity, without need for reference to any other city, including the well-known Seattle. Our position is the story of what people will find in Spokane and includes a plan for communicating consistent brand values, brand personality, and a description for the promise of “Spokane.”
What is the brand?
While composed of many municipalities and constituencies, “Spokane” is, to the wider world, the brand we all share. Visitors naturally feel that everything from the West Plains to Coeur D’Alene is part of their Spokane experience. Spokane, in this case, is not a municipality with borders. It is a region, a place that is inclusive of multiple individual identities that together comprise a greater community. The new brand’s visual expression employs a tree shape creatively forming interlocking hearts, creating a distinctive visual association. The lilac color palette capitalizes on associations consumers have with the region, and reflects the vibrancy of the community.
What is the new tagline?
"Creative by Nature." This simple, singular expression of Spokane is a shorthand for what visitors will experience. In this tagline, ‘creative’ denotes the type of experience you can have. You can create your own adventure, create your experience. Spokane is home to creative chefs, winemakers, artists, educators, opportunities, etc. The use of the word ‘nature’ addresses the natural beauty and scenic backdrop of Spokane, while also giving a nod to the type of people you will encounter in Spokane.
Why did you create a new brand?
To give the Spokane region an identity that sets us apart and, in very easy and, even, fun terms, tells the world what a special place our destination is. We want the world to get to know us better, and we believe that showing them who we are -- through a carefully researched brand -- is a great start to making important connections. Without a strong, effective brand, it’s much harder to make those connections. As an example, Visit Spokane works with meeting planners across the country. Too often, they tell us that their uncertainty…their lack of knowledge about Spokane, creates reluctance to bring a meeting or convention here. They want their attendees to say “I have got to see Spokane!” This will happen because we have created and developed a strong brand that supports tourism and economic development and the university and higher education community. The brand supports employers who recruit businesses and a qualified work force. In short, the new brand supports our collective identity.
Does this replace "Near Nature. Near Perfect."?
Yes. Like the use of “Near Nature. Near Perfect.”, this will be a regional brand that organizations and businesses will be able to use and affiliate with to position themselves within Spokane, the region.
Who came up with the new brand?
Visit Spokane conducted an inaugural 2015 brand summit, and then created a Brand Council comprised of organizations and businesses engaged in marketing the region for business relocation, academic recruitment, job growth, visitation, etc. Some 2016 highlights as the Council worked to create a regional brand identity:
- Discovered common messaging themes through intensive review of marketing materials, etc.
- Retained the branding firm Stoke, of Seattle, (along with a research partner, Lux Insights of Vancouver, British Columbia) to develop a regional destination brand based on stakeholder participation and consumer research.
- Completed dozens of stakeholder input sessions and an extensive online survey.
- Conducted extensive research:
- Identity study discovered stakeholders’ and non-resident consumers’ feelings about Spokane
- Image research revealed visitor impression and awareness of Spokane
- Reviewed competitive sets (defined by stakeholders) and conducted audit to differentiate Spokane from competitive sets
- Conducted an experience audit to index how Spokane compares to the competition and how to connect with authentic Spokane experiences through the brand development strategy
- Developed foundational idea and story premise for the Spokane region, encompassing brand values, personality, and the basis for a narrative about the region.
- Tested concepts for the visual brand representation and how it connected the brand idea or positioning statement.
What is the project timeline?
Brand Project details
2016 - Phase One: Brand Identity research, image research, competitive indexing, brand audit, concept testing
Stoke Strategies/Lux Insights
2017 - Phase Two: Visual Identity, brand positioning, brand strategy, brand tools (pop-up displays, banners, brand standards, brand registration, etc.)
Stoke Strategies/Lux Insights
2017/2018 - Brand Launch
Phase one of the brand development project has been completed and phase two is underway. The preparation for the brand launch will have multiple partners.
When will the new brand be officially launched?
You’ll start seeing the visual representation of the brand this summer within Spokane and then during the fall visitor campaign, which will be the launch of the external marketing and public relations with the new messaging.
What is the budget for the new brand?
Expenses thus far have been $174,984, additional budgeted expenses for the brand tools is $73,800 for an estimated total of $248,784.
The brand development was funded through restricted lodging tax, TPA, and membership dues as well as a contribution from the Downtown Spokane Partnership. Additional partners are expected to participate either in-kind or through cooperative participation in the brand launch.
Who can use the new brand, tagline, graphics, etc.?
The plan is to invite local businesses and organizations to use brand components when they stage events, present information about the region, and to connect their businesses to the “Spokane, Creative by Nature” idea through the brand values, brand personality, and visual expression. Brand standards are being developed and will be shared.
This year will see the completion of the regional brand’s visual expression, and a tagline connecting the idea and story to the visual presentation. The Brand Council will build support and awareness for the brand idea and expression before the launch in late August 2017.