The city of Kent’s getting ready to market itself as a destination for new businesses, residents and tourists with a slogan of Bringing the World Home.
The tagline also includes a multicolored logo featuring eight letter K’s on their side to form a circle.
It’s all part of a campaign to bring more economic development and tourists to Kent.
“It speaks to hometown feel but also to a city interacting with the world in commerce with international companies that call Kent home and our diverse population that call Kent home,” said Ben Wolters, city economic and community development director. “The tagline really speaks to that.”
Kent will soon launch its first website designed for visitors based on the logo and slogan.
“You will see it in terms of advertising, marketing to businesses and the region at large to reinforce a message of the positive momentum and attributes of Kent as we work to grow a quality community,” Wolters said. “You could see it in banners or on ads on television.”
The city’s Lodging Tax Advisory Committee, which serves in an advisory role to the City Council and mayor, came up with the idea to market Kent. The seven-member board includes City Councilman Bill Boyce, three hotel industry representatives and three members involved in activities funded by the lodging tax.
The state levies a 1 percent tax on hotel rooms sold in Kent and returns that money to the city. The tax raises about $200,000 a year in Kent and must be spent on tourism or to support community events that bring people to the city.
The city spent $20,000 from the lodging tax revenue to hire South Carolina-based consultant Arnett Muldrow & Associates to come up with the logo and tagline. Company representatives met recently with more than 70 people in five groups selected by city officials as focus groups for the campaign.
The groups included business representatives, high school students and residents.
“I think it’s amazing a company could come in and in three days be able to what I’ve heard people saying nail what Kent is,” said Barbara Smith, executive director of Kent Downtown Partnership and a Lodging Advisory Committee member.
“We seem to be undervaluing ourselves (as a city) because we’re not recognizing we’re home to a warehouse (Blue Origin) that’s making rockets to go to the moon, we have a lunar rover on the moon made here in Kent (by Boeing), a roasting company from Starbucks and REI. There are a lot of companies that are sending their product internationally so that’s where the idea came from of Bringing the World Home.”
Smith said the slogan also ties in the 138 languages spoken in the Kent School District.
City officials will work with the Kent Downtown Partnership (a nonprofit group that promotes businesses) and the Kent Chamber of Commerce to incorporate the tagline and logo into marketing activities by both groups.
“We can do a lot more with everyone working together,” Smith said.
The council approved the logo and tagline at a March 18 workshop.
“We as a city see it as a way to communicate with the city at large, economic development, new businesses, new residents and tourism from business travel and vacation travel,” Wolters said.
The city will spend $15,000 of the lodging tax revenue to hire Spokane-based Genesis Marketing to design a website and lead the marketing campaign.
“It’s been generally well-received they (Arnett Muldrow) captured the identity of Kent and trying to build a branding and marketing presence,” Wolters said. “The City Council gave its approval to move ahead with developing plans and strategy to build off the material developed. The work of this (Lodging Tax Advisory) committee is a major thrust to create a tourism and marketing campaign.”