Central Florida's branding initiative, "Orlando. You don’t know the half of it." is a key priority for Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs and area economic development leaders. Launched to the public in 2014, the initiative is designed to boost awareness of Central Florida's businesses and innovation assets among targeted industry leaders and site selectors to encourage economic development and job creation.
Since 2011, Mayor Jacobs has convened 11 economic and job summits throughout the community. One of the key messages taken from business leaders at the meetings was that the community was often overlooked for corporate relocations and expansions by industries outside of the region.
The idea of regional branding stemmed from Mayor Jacobs’ participation in a Leadership Mission to Austin, Texas, in 2012 to learn about how that community has successfully branded itself. One of the key takeaways from the trip, which triggered the launch of the region’s branding initiative, was that the branding language was consistent across various audiences including the region’s business sectors, educators, economic developers, elected officials and citizens.
In October 2012, Mayor Jacobs hosted Orange County’s Branding Summit and announced that the Orlando Economic Development Commission (EDC) would lead the new branding initiative through a regional branding committee consisting of local business leaders familiar with the region’s economy.
Research conducted by the branding committee revealed that the Metro Orlando region’s messaging did not resonate with corporate executives outside Central Florida and business relocation decision makers. One of the initial goals of the branding initiative was to position the region as the ideal place to do business for C-level executives and site-selection consultants in targeted domestic and international markets.
Subsequent efforts of the Regional Branding Committee gave rise to the branding theme "Orlando. You don’t know the half of it." which is designed to highlight the many corporate assets Central Florida has to offer.
The new branding theme was successfully launched in the fall of 2014, and the campaign was revealed during Mayor Jacobs’ Economic Summit held in January 2015.
The funding of the initial phase of the initiative came solely from the EDC’s Governor’s Council in the amount of $210,000. The next phase of the branding initiative is to launch the campaign, which will require funding for print, advertising, commercials, collateral and other marketing materials to be included in the overall marketing plan. The projected need is approximately $3 million to $4 million per year, over a three-year timeframe.
The County’s commitment of $500,000 is a challenge grant predicated on other funding partners’ commitments to create a total $1.4 million funding effort for Fiscal Year 2014, plus another $500,000 for Fiscal Year 2015.