Seattle unveils new tagline, brand

Seattle’s Convention and Visitors Bureau (SCVB) unveiled a new Seattle destination brand package designed to increase tourism to the city. “metronatural,” the new trademarked tagline, debuted today in 18-foot-high letters atop the city’s most visible landmark, the 605-foot Space Needle.

The metronatural brand concept was designed to highlight Seattle’s rare and uniquely-marketable combination of urban and outdoor experiences. As the centerpiece of a powerful new brand platform, metronatural will define and promote the unique Seattle visitor experience and drive the city’s tourism marketing programs.

Beginning today, metronatural will be visible in Seattle and around the world. SCVB has launched a new convention trade media advertising campaign featuring metronatural-themed photography and messaging. A worldwide publicity campaign announces and promotes the new Seattle brand to travel, features, lifestyle, trade and business media.

SCVB led Seattle’s brand development initiative over the course of more than year, drawing critical input and support from a broad-based steering committee comprised of representatives from the City of Seattle, Port of Seattle and many other travel industry stakeholders. Seattle-based branding and advertising firm EXCLAIM served as the creative partner and introduced the metronatural logo and brand concept.

The brand development process involved extensive research and testing that included stakeholder interviews, as well as surveys and focus groups involving key tourism industry clients such as meeting planners, group tour operators and others. A survey yielded impressions from more than 2,500 leisure and business travelers.

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Feedback from all audiences drew a common conclusion: Seattle boasts an impressive array of both urban and outdoor experiences that are easily accessible to visitors.

“Seattle offers the best of both worlds,” said Don Welsh, SCVB President & CEO. “We have a vibrant urban center surrounded by pristine wilderness and outdoor recreation. For many of the same reasons that Seattle is a great place to live, Seattle is also great place to visit.”

However, Seattle’s wide appeal presented the brand development team with a communications challenge: how to convey Seattle’s wealth of attributes in a single, marketable tagline that would resonate with travelers.

“We explored many concepts and crafted many prospective taglines,” said Ken Grant, Brand Strategist at EXCLAIM. “Ultimately, we realized that no single word in the dictionary could adequately convey Seattle’s impressive combination of visitor experiences. Branding a city like Seattle required a brand new word - so we created one.”

Once metronatural was embraced by key members of Seattle’s tourism and business communities, as well as a sampling of leisure, business and convention visitors, SCVB quickly trademarked the word and a new destination logo was born.

“Seattle is known worldwide as a center of innovation,” Welsh said. “Seattle redefines lifestyle, popular culture and business. Seattle is an original, so it deserves an original brand.”
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