As the economy continues to recover, competition is intense in virtually every industry. The auto insurance providers slug it out for market share. The cell phone service carriers fight tooth and nail for subscribers. Even universities battle it out to attract students, not to mention benefactors and research dollars.
Regions are no different. They cannot be complacent and sit idly hoping that a company might choose to locate in their municipality. For that reason, at Wednesday’s East Valley Partnership SRP Forum, we shared part of our plans to facilitate a regional marketing entity and introduced a new brand for the Phoenix East Valley. The goal is simple: to help the region attract high wage jobs.
Cities already have savvy and sophisticated economic development departments, equipped with the know-how and tools to help land deals with companies, educational institutions, developers, hospitals and the like. However, the cities can do even more by working together.
Think of the California Avocado Commission’s media blitz. Or the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s “Take Me Fishing” campaign; or the famous “Got Milk” effort. The examples go on and on. Much like these trade groups promote the wares and products of their respective industries, a regional marketing effort can help pool resources and promote a larger geographic area as a business destination.
That’s what we plan to do for the Phoenix East Valley. We have incredible assets here and are a great location for great organizations. We have Avnet, Insight, Banner Health, Orbital, Boeing, Gangplank, Intel, Dignity Health, Paypal, and Infusionsoft. The Phoenix-Mesa Gateway airport, Arizona State University and all our educational institutions, the recent announcements from GM, State Farm and Garmin only add to the asset base.We have a young and educated workforce—in fact younger and more educated than the national average—which many people do not realize. The list is impressive. So why not amplify what we have to offer? It’s no time to be shy.
The work we do will be coordinated with the Greater Phoenix Economic Council and the Arizona Commerce Authority so that it is one hundred percent complementary. It has also involved—and will continue to involve—an incredible amount of collaboration with the cities, who have all supported and encouraged this effort from its inception.
Today we unveiled only the logo that will be used to promote the Phoenix East Valley region. So we now have a formal identity to use to promote the tremendous collective assets that exist here. We have more work to do over the summer in finalizing a budget, working through the details of a marketing communications plan, lining up resources and much more.
In that way, today was not the culmination of our work on this initiative, but merely the beginning. We’re enthusiastic about the unprecedented spirit of teamwork and camaraderie present in the Phoenix East Valley and even more excited about what we can do when we work together to market this wonderful place for forward-thinking people and businesses.
Roc Arnett is the president and CEO of East Valley Partnership.