Portland has changed quite a bit since we did this strategy and campaign in the late 90s. Before Voodoo Donuts, the Streetcar or South Waterfront Park. When Meier & Frank was still downtown and the Ace Hotel did not yet exist. Before Portlandia or the Museum of Velvet Paintings.
Back then Portland was not a destination but seen as more of a quieter city, an indistinct big small town. Yet undefined.
The challenge was to create a positioning that captured the best of the Portland experience. Digging a bit deeper, we found this was a combination of the proximity to nature and the “hometown” feeling made up of friendly locals who choose to live here.
The final strategy was based on the thought that Portland is the city where you’ll feel like a local.
Working on this brand also included the experience of conducting focus groups at a gathering in Nashville of the American Society of Association Executives. An association of associations. A conference for conference planners.
In an effort to show off Nashville and attract conferences to their city, the organizers went over the top at every turn – from a mini concert by the top country musicians at the sign-in table to a fireworks show over the parking lot while we waited in the busses to be transported across town to dinner.