The Community and Economic Development Committee passed a resolution that creates a task force to assess the perceptions and image of greater Milwaukee and help to identify funding for ongoing branding in the future.
Alderman Terry Witkowski, primary sponsor of the resolution, says the task force will help establish an entity that is responsible for creating and maintaining Milwaukee’s image. “Although a brand identity is important for tourism and conventions, in this global economy, a First Class city like ours needs a stable and recognizable identity for doing business,” Ald. Witkowski said.
Alderman Witkowski stated that for years, reports have shown that nationally people have mis-indentified that Milwaukee is in Minnesota or identified Milwaukee as Minneapolis. In the most recent study, many people failed to respond on questions about perception of Milwaukee and this is believed to be because they have no perception of or knowledge of Milwaukee.
“We cannot lure new businesses to the area if no one knows we exist,” Alderman Witkowski said. The alderman sponsored the legislation to help create an organization that can be held accountable to creating and sustaining the image and monitoring the funds associated with the project.
“If the water council, M-7 and Milwaukee Gateway Aerotropolis Corporation and others working to bring businesses and jobs to Milwaukee are to succeed, we need to be better known and identifiable,” Ald. Witkowski said.
The resolution calls for the group to identify the agency that will be responsible for making progress in this area, so that in the years to come, the future studies do not identify the same problems. Currently, many groups work on promoting Greater Milwaukee but no one has the sole responsibility for it or for improvement of its image.
The task force is slated to deliver its recommendations to the Common Council within the next year and consists of 24 designated members, including the mayor, the Common Council President, representatives from General Mitchell International Airport, the Greater Milwaukee Committee, the Milwaukee 7, VISIT Milwaukee and others.