Time for an update and an inside look at a very cool rebranding project that was introduced in this space several months ago. Readers of this blog know that rebranding means much more than adopting a new logo or tagline. Genuine rebranding requires a wholesale change in the way a product — or in this case a destination — is positioned in the marketplace and how it is presented to the public. Fully implementing a new brand strategy across numerous media platforms can take some time.

In the case of the rebranding of the Roanoke Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau, the process has moved a little more slowly than normal (I prefer to describe the pace as “deliberate”) as one Executive Director retired after many years of distinguished service and a new one came on board. I'm pleased to say that it is now progressing full speed ahead. The great new ad campaign that Inprint created has been enthusiastically embraced by the new ED. (click here and take a look at the sub-head after the 5th paragraph). This campaign represents the heart and soul of the new strategy.

In recent weeks Inprint has been retained to assist with several key projects that will move the rebranding process a few giant steps closer to completion:

1. We have recently developed a template and cover for the 2011 Visitors Guide. While the rest of the guide will be produced by a local publishing company that coordinates the advertising, following our template will ensure that it is consistent with the standards we have established for the RVCVB documents.

2. We have been retained as consultants for the long-awaited overhaul of the RVCVB website. We are currently developing the site map and content and will soon begin writing all the copy. This will ensure that the brand's strategy and priorities will be properly presented.

3. Inprint Creative Director David Harris coordinated and art directed three photo shoots at various locations around the valley. The ideas for the shots were developed by Inprint to project different components of the new Roanoke Valley brand strategy. Models were selected to represent specific demographics and no detail was overlooked. Great photography is crucial to successful tourism marketing. The RVCVB recognized this and allowed us to do our thing.

With the Visitors Guide and website overhaul currently underway, let's take a quick look back at some items that can be moved to the "completed" column.

1. After a lot of research and some creative analysis of the RVCVB's strengths and assets, not to mention giving special consideration to differentiation from other regional competitors, we created a powerful visual identity for the organization. The new logo nails the personality we're trying to project and the rest of the identity system is as professional and impressive as any destination marketing organization that I've ever seen.

2. The aforementioned ad campaign is a powerful tool to build recognition for the destination and influence consumers’ perception of the Roanoke Valley. We knew instantly that we had struck gold with this campaign. It's visually striking, memorable and versatile. Ads targeted at leisure travelers, outdoor enthusiasts and meeting planners have been running in several places in print and online.

We're doubly proud of this rebranding project. Not only has the creative work turned out to be exceptional, it has the added benefit of being for the community in which we live. We believe that it in the long run as the advertising and marketing efforts reach more consumers, this message will entice people to visit the Roanoke Valley and bring positive economic impact to our community.


6 Walnut Avenue • Vinton, Virginia 24179

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