The North Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau unveiled a new branding campaign Monday at the Argenta Community Theater.
The announcement was the culmination of a year-long market research project with Gray Research Solutions of Nashville, Tennessee, and six-month rebranding process with Stamp Idea Group of Montgomery, Alabama. The NLRCVB's goal is to attract more out-of-town visitors to the city.
The bureau described the new logo as a "NLR Happy Face" with a "bright and cheery" blue paint stroke complimenting the pop of red on its "mischievous smile." The logo also features a "down-to-earth, casual" dark brown font.
The "Up to Something" phrase expresses the bold, creative and can-do attitude of the people of North Little Rock, according to a news release. The NLRCVB said it implies that something unexpected is about to happen.
"We need to take advantage and build on the assets that we have," David Allred of Stamp Idea Group said. "You guys have a lot more assets than you think. We visit a lot of communities, and every single community can't understand why anyone comes there. It's a consistent theme. And they don't think they have a whole lot to offer.
"We need to think big. We need to be positive, and confident and a little bit aggressive. And so that's where we're going with this brand."
When his firm asked people what they thought of North Little Rock, they called the city "quirky" and mentioned its "dogtown" reputation, Allred shared. So that uniqueness factored into the rebranding process.
Allred also touted the versatility of the "Up to Something" statement during his remarks.
"It easily can be translated across multiple platforms and audiences," Stephanie Slagle, NLRCVB marketing director, said. "For foodie events, we can say, 'We're up to something savory' and turn around and say 'We're up to something creative' when marketing North Little Rock's arts and entertainment. There's room for flexibility and growth. We can customize our messages to different groups while maintaining a consistent, identifiable image."
In addition, at Allred's recommendation, the NLRCVB copyrighted the new logo and statement.
The new logo is already prominently displayed on the North Little Rock Destination Guide, the NLRCVB's website and its trip-planning app.
It will also grace in-market and out-of-market print and digital advertising, social media and creative content, and direct sales materials at conferences and trade shows.
The new NLRCVB offices and North Little Rock Welcome Center, expected to open by April at 600 Main St., will reflect the new brand as well, and sell retail items with the new look.