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Does Tampa Bay Have an Identity Crisis?

Marketers say the Tampa Bay area has a bland identity and needs an 'elevator pitch' to boost tourism. What slogan would you use to describe our region?

Does Tampa Bay Have an Identity Crisis?

Locals know the Tampa Bay area has awesome beaches, great parks, a sizzling Cuban flavor and really cool museums. The problem is out-of-towners don’t.

While Miami is known internationally as an urban chic vacation destination with beaches on the side and Orlando has the mouse to thank for its tourism prowess, Tampa Bay is lacking in the image department.

That lack of identity is something that concerns the folks at Spark, a Tampa marketing firm that’s been researching what people think of when they consider Tampa Bay.

"We do not have a brand," James Robbins, Spark’s brand director, told the Tampa Bay Times.

What’s the problem with that?

According to Robbins, when an area doesn’t have a brand, people start coming up with their own ideas of how to best describe it. This, Robbins pointed out by showing a Times’ reporter a picture of a local strip club, can be rather damaging.

Tampa Bay & Co., the Tampa/Hillsborough marketing agency agrees that the Bay area needs a unified brand to rally marketing efforts behind.

"We realized we needed to coalesce our message as to who we are and what this destination is in a succinct way," Tampa Bay & Co.’s marketing vice president Doug McLain told the Times.

Now the area’s marketing firms are trying to solidify a brand for Tampa Bay. And as they do so, we’d like to hear your thoughts.

If you were a marketer, what slogan would you use to describe the Tampa Bay area? Do you agree our image is a little on the bland side? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

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