Destination Branding Project
The City has hired a consultant to assist with destination branding and tourism. This project aims to create a marketing campaign that highlights all the cool things about Puyallup the downtown core and helps Puyallup to be known as a place where people want to be, and that is attractive to both locals and visitors.
To assist us, the City has hired Rotator Creative, out of Tacoma, who embarked on a series of outreach methods to gain an understanding of what makes Puyallup a destination for visitors. Over the course of several months, Rotator engaged with local stakeholders and the community at large. The results of these findings were presented to the project team and City Council, with a plan for attracting visitors to Puyallup. The new tourism brand campaign is called "Puyallup Always in Season." The following webpage details the project and where we are in the process.
Retail, hospitality (food and hotel accommodations), and tourism are critical to the livelihood of Puyallup, bringing billions of dollars into the local economy and employing tens of thousands of workers. Spending by locals and tourists has a real and measurable positive impact on our economy. COVID-19 had a devastating impact on retail, hospitality, and tourism in the City of Puyallup, with a 25 percent decline in food and hotel accommodation spending at the start of the pandemic, and a slow crawl back to normal numbers. The historic cancellation of the Washington State Fair in the fall of 2020, along with the cancellation of numerous associated events such as the popular summer concert series, led to a loss of over $1 million in ticket sales taxes alone. Events at the Fair and downtown Puyallup draw almost 4 million visitors annually to our city, with about $50 million of indirect spending at local businesses.
Building on this success of a marketing campaign to shop and dine locally in downtown Puyallup during the winter of 2020, the City applied for and was awarded $40,000 in Lodging Tax Funds to continue its destination marketing efforts.
In 2021, the City sent out a Request For Proposals (RFP) to hire a marketing consultant that would help create a brand for Puyallup and incorporate it into a tourism marketing campaign. The City received 12 responses and selected Rotator Creative to lead this project.
In Spring 2022, Rotator kicked off the project and held a Design Charrette. In attendance at the Charette were residents, City Councilmembers, business owners, non-profits, and other stakeholders. At the meetings, Rotator engaged the group through a series of exercises to get them thinking about what make Puyallup cool. Rotator took that feedback, along with some additional outreach at the Farmers Market that summer, and presented Council with some design recommendations.
In January 2023, after conducting extensive outreach to the community and meeting internally with City staff, Rotator presented their final design concept recommendation to Council. Council expressed tremendous support for the final design and directed staff to begin working on the Implementation Plan. In February 2023, staff presented the Implementation Plan to Council along with a request to use ARPA funds to fund a portion of the Plan. Council approved $100,000 in ARPA funds to be used for Phase One and a portion of Phase Two of the Implementation Plan.
On Wednesday, May 25, staff hosted a charrette at the Pioneer Park Pavilion with our consultants, Rotator Creative, who will be leading our branding and marketing campaign project. Rotator was selected to create a new marketing campaign that tells Puyallup’s story and why it is such a cool place to visit. Two sessions were held, the morning session from 9 am to 10:30 am and an afternoon session from 4 pm to 5:30 pm. Over 30 key community stakeholders attended and participated in fun, interactive exercises that got them thinking about all the things that make Puyallup a great place to live and visit. Below are some images taken at the charrette.
During the summer of 2022, Rotator attended several Farmer's Markets and Summer Concerts in Pioneer Park to engage with locals and visitors on what makes Puyallup a cool place to visit. Folks who visited their booth got to play a fun game of cornhole with some mood boards, which could help inform the new tourism brand. Rotator spoke one-on-one with event attendees and used the information in their findings on Puyallup as a destination. Below are some images from the outreach.
Second Design Charrette
On November 30, Rotator and staff reconvened at the Pioneer Park Pavilion to show community stakeholders three draft designs concepts, which would inform the new tourism brand. Like the first meeting, participants engaged in a series of fun exercises to get their creative thoughts flowing. Participants were asked to place a sticker on the design that they preferred. Over 25 people were in attendance. Rotator will use the feedback from the meeting to craft the final design recommendation, which will be presented to the City Council in 2023.