Fearless Exploration: A New Brand Identity for Tacoma & Pierce County

Tacoma and Pierce County woke up this morning rebranded. Last night the Tacoma Regional Convention & Visitor Bureau revealed a whole new program to market the area to visitors.

Fearless Exploration. Those two words sum up the way the TRCVB has captured the spirit of our area, as described by visitors and locals responding to surveys. Key characteristics include: approachable, proud, relaxed, witty, and tough spirited. That last one got a lot of attention at Wednesday night’s brand launch.

Tough Spirited: A place for people unafraid to trek through the woods of Mount Rainier in the rain, fearless of breaking a sweat in the heat of the hot shop while blowing glass and resiliently tilling the soil that grows some of the world’s best rhubarb. 

Photo credit: Heidi Vladyka/TRCVB

Photo credit: Heidi Vladyka/TRCVB

Tacoma/Pierce County standouts that you can expect to see featured in visitor’s guides and other publications include the iconic images you might expect: Mount Rainier, glass art, and collector vehicles. The new campaign will highlight other less iconic ways Tacoma and Pierce County differentiate themselves from other places: we’re not Seattle, we’re not D.C.; feelings of surprise and awe, safety and cleanliness; and the anticipation of transformation.

Partnerships with local businesses and organizations will highlight what is special about our area. The first such partnership was unmistakably Tacoma: the Harmon Brewery provided their new beer as a part of the brand launch - a hoppy, aromatic beer they’re calling Fearless Exploration Imperial Rye IPA. Even if you’re a long-time Tacoma resident, the new TravelTacoma.com is worth taking a look at - you might even learn something new.

All the work was done in house at the TRCVB and it looks good. The real work of implementing the vision and spreading the word begins now. 

So, Tacoma and Pierce County, are you ready to be fearlessly explored, and maybe even transformed?

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Fearless Exploration.  How old are the people coming up with this stuff?  Have they ever been anywhere other than Tacoma?  It seems like they just come up with these ridiculous things all the time.  Corn balls, we had a chance to do something great and this is what we get.  They must have been thinking of our daily drive through our pothole ridden city streets.  We don’t live in a mountain Tacoma, we live in a city for crying out loud.  I can understand if we lived on a mountain, but come on.  Once again, rural mentality running an urban core.

July 25, 2013 at 2:19 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Fearless = Tacoma is still to be feared, but chance it anyways
Exploration = You’ll have to look hard for the good stuff

Really?  When I read this, I immediately thought of the “Where’s Herb?” Burger King campaign that’s studied in practically every marketing class in college.  Not sure why…


July 25, 2013 at 3:26 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Just another thought… Tacoma has not the best reputation outside of itself.  I know, it’s shocking.  It has a reputation of grittiness, crime, and desperation - from what I’ve gathered as someone who’s not originally from Tacoma.  So, could it be compared to Compton, CA. as far as crime perception?  Maybe in the late 1980’s but now… maybe.  Some people outside of Tacoma still have this perception of it.  So, what if you opened a website for Compton and its tagline was “Fearless Exploration.”  What would you think?  You’d probably think it’s still dangerous and only the crazy would be out strolling around as a tourist, right?  Maybe Compton isn’t dangerous and maybe it is - it’s been a long time since the 80’s.  Your perception is reality here just like the perception of Tacoma as being rough and dangerous to outsiders is.

Come to Compton!  Fearless Exploration!

July 25, 2013 at 4:29 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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I think this pretty much sealed the deal for me.  Tacoma is run by people appointed to serve in roles they are not prepared for.  What is wrong with using the City of Destiny, stop trying to make up things that make no sense and seem like we are trying too hard.  How can this not be seen as a slogan.  The photos look like we live in a retirement city, or at Wild Safari, which there is nothing wrong with, but we are far from it.  Now that we are finaly starting to see investment back in town, we once again have to be the joke of Seattle.  I am still racking my brain around this one and why do we need to brand ourselves.  We are already a historic city with so much history to offer, but no, we continue to find a brand that’s suitable for us.  When I travel and tell people I live in Tacoma, WA about forty minutes South of Seattle, they always tell me how beautiful it is here and how they wish they could visit more often.  Whay can’t we leave it at that?  Let Tacoma develop itself into what it needs to be by having our politicians do what they are supposed to do first.  Stop making it a brand, because brands go out of fashion.

July 25, 2013 at 4:04 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Peter PeterRegistered

This is created by the convention and visitor’s bureau. They will always need some brand foundation to push our image out to writers, conventioneers, and anybody that will listen. They need one. Do they change? Yes. That’s fine. Also, this is about Pierce County and not just Tacoma. Any rant about Tacoma probably doesn’t apply to the twenty other communities around here. This is a regional image tool. This group is already talking about the region. Now we know the story they’re telling as they do it.

My personal opinion is that it’s fine. If you don’t know this area well, a consistent voice about the outdoors and the arts community is a natural fit. I may quibble about collector cars as a centerpiece of our identity, but it is what it is.

July 25, 2013 at 4:20 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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fred davieRegistered

If the Visitors Bureau wants to call the Tacoma area “fearless exploration” or whatever, I don’t think it really makes much difference. It’s just noise in a world full of noise.  I’ve been all over the world. Some of the nicest places don’t have slogans whatsoever. I would never plan a trip based on some slogan but I’m probably not the average traveler.

July 25, 2013 at 5:30 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Tacoma gives itself another selfie, Hooray!

July 25, 2013 at 8:18 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Altered Chords

I don’t care about the slogan but I’m interested in tasting Harmon’s Imperial Rye IPA.

July 25, 2013 at 10:06 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Published Author RR AndersonRegistered

I’d rather just have the “i voted’ sticker

July 30, 2013 at 10:34 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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What happened to The Wired City?  or where art and nature meet?  or City of Destiny…Or what was it 2 yrs ago again?  I’m sure the staff know the importance of branding and sticking too it…heck they work with Jay Ray….I like it…but just stick with it…and make the new staff that takes over in 2014/2015 stick with it.  All the best

August 14, 2013 at 8:32 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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