New Canmore brand takes it further
What sets Canmore apart is its authentic mountain lifestyle and that perception of what the community is will form the new brand message that launches today (June 28).
With 13 months of work and hundreds of people involved with the branding project so far, Canmore Business and Tourism is unveiling the brand and its related taglines, logos and imagery just in time for the Canada Day long weekend.
President and CEO Andrew Nickerson provided the Outlook with a preview of the results of the branding process this week saying it is meant to be representative of the remarkable people and setting that makes Canmore a community.
Nickerson said the brand is meant to be for the community as a whole and inspire people to not only visit but also move here. The thing that sets Canmore apart, he added, is the lifestyle that residents enjoy, which results in the brand positioning statement of: “Canada’s global destination for mountain lifestyle.”
“The beautiful thing is it is a fabulous opportunity for us to leverage that,” Nickerson said, adding a brand is more of a feeling or perception than just a logo. “Every brand is also built on a product.
“We are not going out and saying here is what we want to be… we have to back it up with a product.”
The brand promise, he said, is an authentic and personal mountain lifestyle experience, which is what visitors can expect to have when they are in the community. That includes healthy living, arts and culture, dining experiences, shopping, mountain sports and “ridiculously friendly people.
“We have been testing the brand and it has been fabulously positive,” Nickerson said of both local and regional groups. “We want to make a splash.”
Mayor John Borrowman said he is impressed by the work that has gone into the brand and its related logos and taglines.
“I was slow to understand what the branding project was all about a couple of years ago when we first started talking about it,” Borrowman said. “But when the brand story was written late last year I was really impressed with it and started to understand what branding is about.”
He said after being presented the concepts to come out of the brand story as a citizen, artist and mayor he is impressed at how well it works as well as its design.
“I’m hoping the community also responds positively and picks it up,” he added. “We haven’t been able to pin down what makes Canmore special and unique and this goes a long way to put into words what a lot of us feel about Canmore.”
With the tagline of “Go Beyond” he said the brand would connect with different facets of the community.
Nickerson said tried and true marketing colours are used to represent the eight sectors. For example business and development is blue with a tagline of “Go Beyond Distinction”, cuisine is yellow with a tagline of “Go Beyond Temptation”, arts and culture is red with a tagline of “Go Beyond Inspiration”.
“Go Beyond the Extraordinary” accompanies the overall logo that includes a rainbow of all the colours representing the different sectors.
All will form part of the pageantry being installed today (June 28) with a new banner concept for the downtown streetlights. The image of the brand, said Nickerson, includes the classic three peaks that has represented Canmore for a long time.
The website launches as well and CBT has printed 200,000 brochures to be distributed throughout the province.
“We have directed our focus to where 80 per cent of our business comes from,” Nickerson said.
Outside the community the brand will focus on mountain sports activities more as that is what regional visitors associate Canmore with. But it will also work to connect people to other aspects of what Canmore has to offer and encourage them to “go beyond.”
Developing the brand was a key action item in the 2009 sustainable economic development and tourism strategy.
“We wanted to be able to get it right,” Nickerson said about the 13 months it took to complete the project.
“We took the extra time to really represent the complexity of the Canmore community, without suggesting we have something for everybody which is the ultimate brand delusion,” he said.
Next steps for the brand is for the municipality to develop wayfinding for the community as well as map and sign the trail system.
Nickerson has presented the brand to multiple groups and said CBT wants to work will all organizations to see if there is alignment to use it as part of their messaging.
CBT is finalizing the processes and rules for using the brand and he said the promise and attributes can be used to make decisions into the future.
Nickerson said the brand is a litmus test for new ideas and proposals to question whether something is in “in line with who we are.”
He said anything being proposed can then be evaluated as to whether or not it fits with the four brand attributes developed throughout the process.
Those attributes are: authenticity, unique mountain lifestyle, beyond the extraordinary and personal balance.
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