City leaders move forward to rebrand the Tri-Cities region


JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Tri-Cities leaders are pushing forward in an effort to rebrand and rename our region.

In a news release issued Friday morning, officials from Johnson City, Kingsport and Bristol asked people to take part in a community survey in the coming weeks.

READ: Why local leaders want to change the name Tri-Cities

That survey is part of what city officials described as ‘critical to the success of the research effort’ as they continue to move forward with this naming initiative.

Through extensive data collection, they hope to find a name that captures the identity of locals and the interests of outsiders. 

Johnson City Mayor Jenny Brock said the new name is intended to complement increasing economic collaboration across county and state lines.

Brock and other leaders agree this will make the region more competitive on the global stage when it comes to attracting tourists and new business. 

In early April, Johnson City commissioners voted unanimously to pay North Star Destination Strategies, a Nashville-based marketing firm, to research a new name for the region. According to a press release, North Star has helped rebrand more than 200 communities in 45 states. 

Brock said the cost of $48 thousand will be split between 13 public and private partners.

According to the website, city leaders have outlined what is next for this process of rebranding our region.


Step 1: Research process for naming initiative

Step 2: Key stakeholder interviews

Step 3: Community survey coming soon, sign-up here

Step 4: Share research results

There is also an FAQ part of the website asking a question that we’ve also heard from viewers, “What is the importance of community naming?” 

The answer they provided is as follows: “The idea of naming a community is simple: use a community’s greatest strength to create a consistent memorable identity that will help propel the town to its desired future. The best identities are grounded in reality but aspirational in vision. They bridge the past and the present with an eye toward the future. They are uncovered and brought to life through a process that unites rather than divides. And they serve the interests of diverse groups within the community with different agendas.” 

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