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Downtown Birmingham rolls out new logo, holiday perks

By: Tiffany Esshaki | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published November 24, 2015

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BIRMINGHAM — Just in time for the busy holiday shopping season, the city of Birmingham is boasting a new logo to brand its popular downtown district.

Following a strategic planning project conducted last year, the Birmingham Principal Shopping District has launched a new name for itself along with a new logo and motto, called “It’s All IN Birmingham.”

Harris Marketing Group, based in Birmingham, was selected to create the new concept after an extensive development process that included merchant and shopper focus groups, market research, and other data. Harris provided its services at a special rate for the revamp. All district work is funded by a special assessment on commercial properties and businesses in the city, with no residential tax dollars used for its efforts, which include marketing, events, beautification and business attraction.

The focus of the new brand is the word “in,” which district Executive Director John Heiney said will incorporate all the features downtown has to offer, like dining, shopping and entertainment options.

The design of the logo, he added, is more modern and social media-friendly than the previous brand, while keeping with the sophisticated feel of the area.

“We think this fresh new brand identity really updates our presence across all platforms, including print, online and social media,” said Heiney in an email. “It is versatile, allowing for endless variations of the IN Birmingham concept. We have talked extensively to merchants, shoppers and (shopping district) board members about this, and we really have something we can be proud of.”

Karen Darkas certainly thinks so. As a shopping district member and co-owner of Tender in downtown Birmingham, she participated in many of the focus groups and presentations that led to the brand creation.

“I love it. It’s fresh, updated and eye-catching, with modern colors. It’s easy on the eyes and sophisticated,” said Darkas. “The customers are having a great reaction to it. A few of them have noticed the new sticker in the window, and they’ve commented they like it.”

Darkas added that one of the best things about the new concept is the fact that the PSD has actually been changed to the BSD, going forward as the Birmingham Shopping District.

“When we conducted focus groups, many (participants) were confused by our name. Harris gave us the idea to simplify the name, which added clarification as well,” Heiney said.

The unveiling took place last week, just in time for Small Business Saturday, a national campaign to promote shoppers supporting local independent businesses the day after the infamous Black Friday.

The newly named BSD has, like in years past, announced several incentives to draw visitors to downtown Birmingham Nov. 28, including free parking in meters and structures all day, complimentary horse-drawn carriage rides noon-4 p.m., a chance to take photos with Santa Claus in Shain Park and strolling entertainment, just to name a few.

Of course, free valet parking will be available again this year at Maple and Henrietta, and at Maple and North Old Woodward.  When Small Business Saturday is over, visitors can still enjoy the parking perk for just $4 per vehicle 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays Nov. 30-Dec. 24.

“This year we’ve extended the valet parking service as an added convenience for shoppers,” said Heiney in a prepared statement. “We encourage shoppers to take advantage of the service whether it’s for a quick lunch or a long shopping spree.”

For more information on the Birmingham Shopping District and all of the incentives available to shoppers this holiday season, call (248) 530-1200 or visit www.ALLINBirmingham.com.

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