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?

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.

RGo April 05, 2013 at 04:09 AM
They have to consider that if the area is to remain viable then it's capital are its young people. Major corporations and diversified businesses have to become apart of Tampa Bay's fabric. Tampa Bay currently ranks as one of the lowest metros in the nation for college graduates. Each metro that makes up this region is literally at the bottom of the list. This means that its imperative that each work together o create a vibrant region that will continue to attract young adults and companies that offer high wage jobs. There has the be a marriage of the corporate, political and educational communities if Tampa Bay is to remain a thriving community.
RGo April 05, 2013 at 04:15 AM
I like the way you think!!!
RGo April 05, 2013 at 04:17 AM
Can you get Daniel Barshay(see his comments) a meeting w/local officials? He's got a vision that at lease Mayor Buckhorn would appreciate and even Mayor Poston of Bradenton,
RGo April 05, 2013 at 04:24 AM
Even Orlando is quietly building it rail system that will cover the city and its suburbs. Tampa has to wake up to transportation needs immediately. Orlando is already ahead of the game. Even Miami-Fort Lauderdale has the Tri-Rail and its expanding...it creates opportunities for growth, industries(with competitive wages, increased quality of life, etc.... Orlando's system will be up and running before Tampa gets started. We can't afford to continue as usual.
RGo April 05, 2013 at 03:29 PM
Most people settle down by age 35, and usually don’t move from one metro area to another after that. And the demographic group behind the millennials is a lot smaller. Just like baby boomers, the preferences of the millennials will drive our society for two generations. They’re making location decisions based on their idea of quality of life. And they’re going to make all those decisions in the next few years -- by the time they’re 35.


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