outlines marketing assessment
April 25, 2005
Ketchikan. Our Lifestyle, your reward was selected from among eight proposals under consideration. The tag line will be used with the bureau's new logo which were created as part of an extensive research project the KVB started last year during an assessment of the marketing programs used to promote Ketchikan as a visitor destination.
The KVB's project was detailed for audience members at the luncheon, which was held at Steamers Restaurant. Executive Director Patti Mackey described the project, which included hiring consulting firm Yamamoto Moss, of Minneapolis, MN to conduct brand strategy research and renovate the KVB's web sites www.visit-ketchikan.com and www.meetinalaska.com. The project also included evaluation of the target markets the KVB would focus its efforts on and revisions to the KVB's marketing plan, which was carried out by members of the KVB's board of directors, marketing committee and staff.
The bureau had specific objectives for the brand study, including positioning Ketchikan as a 'must see' destination for anyone traveling to Alaska, and highlighting Ketchikan's unique qualities to establish a presence that was different than other Alaskan visitor destinations. The study utilized several tactics including an assessment of all of the KVB's marketing materials- research documents, vacation planning guide, the present web site, the annual marketing plan, brochures for meetings and conventions. "Literally everything we have created or used in our marketing program over the past several years was reviewed" said Mackey. Other SE and Alaska destination marketing materials were also gathered to provide a competitive analysis.
That was followed by a series of interviews with representatives of Ketchikan tourism businesses and community members to share their perceptions of what Ketchikan offers to visitors and what they valued most as residents. A workshop was held at the Ted Ferry Civic Center last fall to gather additional information from participants.
The findings presented by the consultants focused on Ketchikan's personality as a hard working, hard playing community with a pride in the unique cultural aspects, outdoor adventure opportunities and spirit of community. "They did their homework" said Mackey, "and went beyond simply inventorying the tours, attractions and activities Ketchikan offers". The consultants characterized Ketchikan's core value as that of a 'hearty Alaskan haven', a place where people were genuine, appreciated the culture of the community and were living adventurous lives in a frontier setting when compared to the lifestyles of most visitors. The report also focused on the truthfulness of how Ketchikan promotes itself, suggesting that Ketchikan is a place where "hard work should be rewarded by adventures in nature". Mackey noted that the consultants provided another element to the study, that of outsiders looking in. "When marketing to visitors, it's important to have that perspective- as residents, we can't always see our community through the eyes of those who don't know us, don't live here".
Because many of the visitor activities offered in Ketchikan can be experienced in other Alaskan destinations, the bureau choose to focus on the aspect of promoting Ketchikan's lifestyle to visitors. "It fit our desire to find something unique from other how other destinations promote themselves and we felt it was something that would resonate with the community", said Mackey.
The creation of a new logo was the next step in the process. Six designs were presented, narrowed down to three for a vote by the membership. The final design features four blocks with a graphic in each that represents Community, People in the midst of nature, the forest we live in and a fish drawn in a Native style motif to represent culture and wildlife.
Tag lines, which are phrases used to express the brand, was the next step, and the concepts presented for consideration. The eight concepts were circulated among the membership and presented at the Chamber of Commerce's April 13 luncheon. 'Ketchikan. Our Lifestyle, your reward' was the overwhelming choice.
The KVB will immediately begin to implement use of the new logo and tagline and has plans to create a guideline for members and others in the community to encourage their use of the brand research to help build awareness. "Ideally, the brand will become a part of not only the KVB's marketing efforts but in all materials utilized in communicating with visitors", says Mackey.
The marketing assessment, which continues with the new web site development, scheduled for launch in May as well as changes in the KVB's recently approved marketing plan was an important and necessary project for the bureau to undertake.
"Over the past several
years, as visitation to Ketchikan has grown, and marketing trends
have changed it was important for the bureau to take a hard look
at how we had been marketing and what we should do to keep up
with those changes" noted Mackey. "The Internet has
made substantial changes in how visitors conduct travel planning
and destination research".
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