The Real Southern Hot Spot Brand

After an extensive research study and branding process, Experience Columbia SC (formerly the Columbia Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau) launched the brand “Columbia SC: The Real Southern Hot Spot.”  

Purpose: Why do Experience Columbia SC and its related departments exist?

The purpose of Experience Columbia SC is to shape the Columbia experience in a way that:

  • Attracts events-related, business and leisure travelers

  • Wins the admiration of industry peers

  • Promotes cohesion and fosters pride in its residents

Opportunity: What is the greater need Columbia SC satisfies for visitors?

When it comes to selecting a destination for business or leisure travel, it feels like you have to choose between big city excitement, small town charm or natural beauty. While big cities offer the most buzz-worthy attractions, they also come with high prices, traffic and crowds. Smaller towns are more affordable, but they’re hard to get to and offer little in the way of things to do. Destinations with natural wonders offer plenty for the outdoor enthusiast, but at the end of the day, you want an array of restaurants, retail and other amenities to accommodate a group with mixed interests.

Solution: How does Columbia SC satisfy that need?

Columbia is an unexpected, urban southern hot spot. Its natural beauty and historic significance serve as a rich backdrop for a city bursting with growth, creativity, and the excitement of what’s to come.

Brand Essence: What does Columbia SC stand for? What is at the brand’s emotional core?

Look forward to the unexpected, urban South.

Positioning: This is what Columbia SC has that its audiences value and no one else can deliver.

For travelers who want an affordable destination with buzz-worthy attractions, Columbia is a midsize southern city that offers:

  • Abundant fresh ideas, energy and aspirations due to its revolving college population combined with the intellectual, cultural and political diversity due to USC and capital city talent

  • An urban experience without big-city hassle in close proximity to natural beauty and recreation

  • The juxtaposition of rich, southern history with contemporary thinking and progress

Personality: This is the set of human characteristics associated with Columbia SC. These attributes describe the way the brand expresses and represents itself.
Without Pretense

To learn more about our brand evolution, email Kelsey Carmichael at