Detroit Considers Shops For Brand Image Project

By Tanya Gazdik

DETROIT–Several Midwest agencies are finalists for a project assignment to develop a brand identity and a long-term strategic marketing plan for the Metropolitan Detroit area, according to Kim Fitzgerald, vice president of marketing at the Metropolitan Detroit Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.

Among the shops involved are DDB Needham Chicago; J. Walter Thompson, Detroit; BK&M, Ann Arbor, Mich.; and Irma S. Mann, Strategic Marketing, Boston, in tandem with Doyle Marketing in Southfield, Mich. A decision is expected within the next month or so, Fitzgerald said.

‘We really are approaching this as a marketing, brand positioning project,’ Fitzgerald said. ‘The last thing we want to do is an image campaign. What we want to do is use factual information about our target audience and develop a brand identity for this product, and then incorporate it into all of our marketing materials. Whether anyone else decides to use it and put money toward it, that will come much later, and that will be their decision.’

It’s possible that corporations, government agencies and other civic organizations across the metro area could decide to put advertising money behind the results of this project for their own purposes, she said. But the onetime assignment to develop the brand identity and subsequent strategy will be funded by the bureau, said Fitzgerald, adding that the agency fee hasn’t been determined and still is subject to negotiations.

It also hasn’t been determined if the selected agency will create future advertising incorporating the new brand identity. Currently, BK&M is the bureau’s agency of record, Fitzgerald said. Long-term possibilities include TV, print, direct marketing, trade show marketing and sales promotion, she said. ‘We’re going to use just about every tool in the toolbox to get this done right,’ she said.

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