(Oct. 27, 2011) Minneapolis Meet Minneapolis, Official Convention + Visitors Association, announced the strategy and repositioning of Minneapolis as a destination for leisure travel and convention business with a new brand, including the reveal of the new logo and tagline at a news conference held today at IDS Center Crystal Court in downtown Minneapolis. The City by Nature tagline and reflections logo were introduced as the visible marks of the brand position, Metropolitan by Nature, that the organization will use to market and sell Minneapolis.
Members of the Minneapolis hospitality community, from housekeepers and front desk staff to bartenders, electricians and decorators, rallied around Mayor R.T. Rybak as he outlined for the lunchtime crowd how this repositioning of Minneapolis as a destination equates to a hospitality job growth strategy. Real people in real jobs work every day to create a visitor experience in Minneapolis for the 18 million visitors who come to the area each year and spend $6 billion annually. The industry supports 27,700 leisure and hospitality jobs in Minneapolis alone that translate into $1 billion in payroll.
We want to educate the local audience regarding the importance of hospitality within our community, said Melvin Tennant, president and CEO of Meet Minneapolis. By providing information on economic impact and jobs created by the leisure travelers, conventions and convention delegates that visit Minneapolis, we hope to highlight the reason behind the repositioning work we presented today.
Strategy and process
This strategy is behind Meet Minneapolis goal to increase the number of domestic and international return visitors to Minneapolis by 300,000; doing so has the potential of creating 500 additional hospitality jobs in the city. The brand campaign will help Meet Minneapolis reach the audiences who are likely to visit the city, increase familiarity with that audience and give consistency to the messages used to market to that group.
The brand positioning process began with January 2011 ideation sessions involving a number of key constituents in the city and industry. The goal was to focus on the attributes Minneapolis has that stand out most in the minds of residents and visitors. Agency selection followed in the spring and Preston Kelly, a Minneapolis boutique agency, began work with Meet Minneapolis staff to develop and research positions.
Position statements were further researched and resulted in a strong position that rose to the top -- in a sample consumer group, the position statement and visual stimulus increased the intent to visit Minneapolis by 14.9 percent for meeting planners to 18.4 percent for leisure travelers to 29.2 percent for convention attendees. This demonstrated the power a new brand could have on increasing intent to visit on a larger scale for the three key audiences targeted by Meet Minneapolis.
In conjunction with the new brand, Meet Minneapolis today launched a newly developed website, at Minneapolis.org, which unites the visitor and meeting planner experience online with a better platform that is easy-to-navigate and more user friendly. The site encompasses all leisure travel, meeting planning and Minneapolis Convention Center assets in one place. Itinerary creators, suggested itineraries created by Minneapolis experts and a hotel booking engine will give visitors everything they need to plan a trip to the city.
Meeting planners will utilize the complete venue guides that highlight hours, maps and details they need to plan successful events. New sports venue guides will make the site the most comprehensive online resource for sporting event planners in the area.
Tennant finished the unveiling for the city asking the audience of Minneapolis residents and workers to consider becoming brand ambassadors. Following the news conference, locals were invited to take part in a social media-based virtual destination tour of iconic locations in the city including IDS Center, Minneapolis Convention Center, the Stone Arch Bridge, the Guthrie Theater and Target Field. Visitors and locals alike can scan Quick Response (QR) codes found at these sites with smart phone apps that lead them to video content about the iconic destination. More locations will be added at later dates.
Following that, a citywide Hospitality Hour at numerous participating Minneapolis restaurants and bars offer a chance to celebrate the new brand with specials and branded merchandise give-aways. Beyond today, Tennant urged people to engage with the organization via social media, frequent local businesses and consider membership organizations and other meetings they might encourage to come to Minneapolis and utilize the free services available from Meet Minneapolis, Official Convention and Visitors Association.
ABOUT MEET MINNEAPOLIS
Meet Minneapolis is a private, not-for-profit, member-based association. It actively promotes and sells the Minneapolis area as a destination for conventions and meetings, works to maximize the visitor experience and markets the city as a desirable tourist destination to maximize the economic benefit of the greater Minneapolis area.
On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/meetminneapolis?ref=ts
On Twitter: http://twitter.com/meetminneapolis
Minneapolis_PR on Twitter