Officials working to find catchy nickname for area

August 1, 2018

Some cities’ nicknames are ingrained in our brains.

The Big Apple is New York City, of course, and the Windy City is Chicago. The Big Easy is New Orleans, and the Mile High City is Denver.

Local economic development officials hope to create a brand for the 11-county region that resonates just as strongly.

The Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership has launched a survey to ask residents their thoughts about the quality of life and opportunities here as the first step in crafting an authentic and memorable identity.

A similar, statewide effort four years ago produced the motto “Honest to Goodness Indiana.”

The online survey, which takes about 10 minutes to complete, will be available until Aug. 15.

John Sampson, the Regional Partnership’s president and CEO, said the region’s residents can become its ambassadors if they are armed with something catchy.

“A strong branding strategy will increase our region’s positive awareness,” he said in a statement. “We believe that reaching talent and businesses outside of Indiana and showcasing the strength of our regional brand will increase the size and quality of the regional labor force.”

“This will positively affect business attraction efforts and result in a skilled, more credentialed workforce and increased per capita personal income,” Sampson added.

This effort is seen as building on the Our Story Project from three years ago, Regional Partnership spokeswoman Kate Virag said.

The project produced the contender character to describe the region, which was widely described as industrious, resilient and collaborative.

Using that framework, New York was considered a monarch or royalty, and Las Vegas was an entertainer.

The Regional Partnership is working with New York-based place-marketing agency Development Counsellors International and local firm Britton Marketing & Design Group on the project.

Officials hope to attract input from many diverse sources to provide a well-rounded image of the region. The results will be translated into a brand, a tagline and a logo.

“The important thing is that it’s memorable and authentic,” Virag said.

The Regional Partnership will then decide how to promote the results and how much to spend on the effort. Virag said Tuesday that it’s too soon to put a dollar figure on the overall effort.


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