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New Branding Company Helping Chamber Tell Gainesville’s Story

New Branding Company Helping Chamber Tell Gainesville’s Story

A national branding firm is helping the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce reposition itself – and it’s doing so for free.

The company 160over90, which opened a Gainesville office last fall with the help of the chamber and its economic development arm, the Council for Economic Outreach, is executing the initiative gratis, said Maggie Slomiany, account director for the local office.

The rebranding initiative will help the chamber create a compelling identity that highlights Gainesville’s strengths – which is especially important when competing for new companies and for attracting new employees, Slomiany said.”

“There’s a lot of movement in Gainesville that’s bringing in fresh minds and a new direction to economic development,” she said. “The city is on the brink of becoming a major hub for innovation.”

The Philadelphia-based company took notice of Gainesville’s attributes when it chose it over Miami, Charlotte and Atlanta for expansion.

As it usually does, 160over90 is listening first. It is conducting a series of focus groups with community leaders to get their take on what makes Gainesville special.

The process is moving fast, and the chamber plans to announce the new branding strategy in April, said Deborah Bowie, the vice president of chamber development. The branding will include a logo, name and a “visual guide” that will help paint an authentic picture of living, doing business and working in Gainesville, she said.

In addition to seeking a stronger national presence, the chamber wants to highlight its work with the entire North Central Florida region.

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Meanwhile, 160over90 is working on a rebranding campaign for the University of Florida to showcase its potential as a top 10 university. The company is meeting with various UF groups to get their feedback as it finalizes the campaign, which will be unveiled in August.

The company plays in the Big Leagues; its clients include Nike, Ferrari, American Eagle Outfitters and the Miami Dolphins.

Orlando economic development officials recently announced a rebranding called “Orlando. You don’t know the half of it.”

The campaign, led by the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission, plays off Orlando’s popularity as a tourist destination, said the website Forward Florida. The idea is that many corporate execs and site selectors nationwide don’t know the full scope of the city’s offerings.

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