Expanding our Competitive Horizon: TREO Guest Post

To sharpen Tucson’s competitive edge, Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities (TREO) is partnering with other Arizona communities to promote the concept of the “Sun Corridor” to site selectors and C-level business decision makers. The corridor stretches from Yuma to Flagstaff, and both Tucson and Phoenix provide critical assets to TREO’s attraction efforts as well as to the overall promotion to “sell Arizona.”

Recent research into site selector perceptions reveals that Tucson has risen from a “Tier 3” community to a “Tier 2” community. This means that our economic strength has expanded in our clients’ minds and the combined strengths of both Tucson and Phoenix (as anchors of the Sun Corridor) will enhance each region’s appeal as well as bolster other Sun Corridor communities, when criteria affecting a relocation or national expansion are weighed.

What do site selectors look for? Top criteria from year to year remain workforce/talent, infrastructure and access to markets, to name a few.  However, just as each region has individual strengths, each company considering site selection has specific criteria for the best fit with their company, products and culture as well. Tucson can often beat Phoenix, or vice versa, based on this individual set of criteria matched to regional strengths. Thus, we can be very complementary markets and a combined approach makes good economic sense.

TREO Ventana TucsonTucson can leverage the assets that Phoenix provides to the region that are absent in Southern Arizona, such as major league baseball and football.  At the same time, we can emphasize the strengths of the impressive education powerhouse created by the University of Arizona, ASU, NAU, University of Phoenix, and Pima Community College, which provide an educated workforce for Southern Arizona businesses.

As a compelling tool to promote the Tucson region, TREO has developed a new commercial entitled, “What Makes Tucson Great?” which was unveiled recently at the TREO Annual Luncheon. The commercial’s message highlights the educational strengths and the innovative workforce that Tucson offers while subtly showcasing the area’s natural beauty and lifestyle amenities.

TREO is crafting a new marketing plan using this video as its centerpiece and is planning to launch it in selected Southern California markets starting in January 2012. Have any feedback for TREO as it markets Tucson and Southern AZ?  Comment below, or contact me any time.

Additional resources

  • TREO Annual Luncheon – Summary with links to Michael Crow’s presentation & annual report
  • America2050 – Arizona Sun Corridor
  • JPAC – A planning partnership for the Arizona Sun Corridor

Laura Shaw TREOLaura Shaw, Senior VP, Marketing & Communications, TREO | Laura’s responsibilities include Tucson region and TREO branding, development and implementation of business attraction marketing strategies, management of TREO multimedia, publications and web marketing efforts, and media relations.

Photo credits: JPAC, TREO 

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