Meet Minneapolis Aims to Boost Tourism with New Brand

The city's convention and visitors association is rolling out a new brand-including a logo, tagline, and revamped Web site-in an effort to attract more visitors, and in turn, create more jobs.

Minneapolis just got a brand makeover.

MeetMplsLogo

Meet Minneapolis-an organization contracted by the City of Minneapolis to market the metropolitan area-on Thursday unveiled its new strategy for positioning the city as an attractive convention site and visitor destination through a new brand, tagline, logo, and Web site.

Representatives of the local hospitality industry joined Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak at the IDS Center on Thursday morning, where the mayor said that better positioning the city as a travel destination will boost hospitality jobs. Roughly 18 million people visit the city each year, and they collectively spend about $6 billion annually, according to Meet Minneapolis. Those visitors are supported by a hospitality industry that comprises 27,700 Minneapolis jobs.

Meet Minneapolis said that the new brand revolves around the theme “Metropolitan by Nature,” although the logo released Thursday includes the tagline “City by Nature.”

Meet Minneapolis said that in a sample consumer group, its new branding package boosted participants' intent to visit Minneapolis by 14.9 percent for meeting planners, 18.4 percent for leisure travelers, and 29.2 percent for convention attendees.

The new branding initiative aligns with the organization's goal to increase the number of return visitors by 300,000-which it says would result in the addition of 500 hospitality jobs in the city.

Developing a new brand began in January when Meet Minneapolis held “ideation sessions” with city and industry leaders. Minneapolis-based ad agency Preston Kelly was also hired to help develop the brand.

The initiative also involves the launch of a new Web site, Minneapolis.org, which includes suggested itineraries for those planning a trip to the city and venue guides for meeting planners, among other resources.

“We want to educate the local audience regarding the importance of hospitality within our community,” Meet Minneapolis President and CEO Melvin Tennant said in a statement. “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.”

Tennant invited attendees at Thursday's event to participate in a social media-based “virtual destination tour” of Minneapolis landmarks, like the Stone Arch Bridge and Target Field, where visitors can scan QR, or “quick response,” codes with smartphones to access video content about the locations.

Meet Minneapolis' new branding initiative comes less than a month after a new economic development organization, Greater MSP, unveiled plans for a marketing campaign aimed at attracting businesses to the Twin Cities.