The Transylvania Times -

Tourism Development Authority To Unveil New Brand - Brevard NC


September 6, 2018

The Transylvania County Tourism Development Authority (TDA) will unveil a new brand to support the organization’s marketing efforts at a reception from 5:30 to 7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 13, at The Lumberyard on King Street in Brevard.

The public is invited to attend.

“A year and a half ago, the TDA board decided to explore options to the Land of Waterfalls brand logo based on insights we gleaned from our visitors,” said Clark Lovelace, the TDA executive director, in a press release.

What followed was an extensive process that included additional quantitative and qualitative research, including surveys, focus groups and input sessions from community leaders.

The results led to a re-examination of the Land of Waterfall brand and the development of a new brand logo by TDA’s marketing partner, Market Connections.

One of the most telling research insights was to a multiple choice survey question posed to more than 750 visitors: By what name do you best know us? The answer choices were, “Transylvania County,” “Brevard” and “Land of Waterfalls.”

Even though “Land of Waterfalls” has been the brand identity used in all marketing and advertising since the early 1900s, the overwhelming majority of respondents (64 percent) chose “Brevard” as the name they most associated with the area over “Land of Waterfalls” (21 percent) and Transylvania County (15 percent).

Peer research of neighboring tourism destinations revealed that the majority of tourism development organizations use the community that has the highest name recognition in their county as the basis for their brand identity.

Examples include Asheville for Buncombe County, Boone for Watauga County, Lake Lure for Rutherford County and Bryson City for Swain County.

“The Land of Waterfalls logo has served us well,” said Lovelace. “But we believe that aligning our brand identity with the name that most visitors use to talk about us will make our advertising and marketing more impactful and effective.”

The new brand logo was created by Market Connections and consisted of several rounds of creative development that included feedback from both visitors and community leaders.

“The board wanted to ensure that this was a thorough process,” said Lovelace. “The feedback was invaluable to creating a brand identity that we believe will resonate with visitors for decades to come.”

The new brand identity will be integrated into all aspects of the TDA’s marketing efforts, including advertising, digital, collateral and social media.

“We’re especially excited about the new website,” said Lovelace. “We think it’s the perfect platform to spread awareness about the new brand logo.”

The site will be launched in conjunction with the brand unveiling. The brand rollout caps a particularly busy and productive year for the organization, according to the press release. In July, the TDA celebrated the conclusion of its 2017/18 fiscal year with record occupancy revenues and a long list of notable achievements.

“It truly was a remarkable year,” said Grant Bullard, TDA chairperson. “We achieved record occupancy revenues in 10 of the 12 months, with an overall increase of 12 percent.”

Additional achievements included the development of a sustainability effort and an associated print ad campaign, the release said. The campaign was embraced by the community and won several accolades, including “Best of Show” at the Asheville ADDY Awards, which honors excellence in advertising.

The TDA furthered its sustainability efforts by awarding a $20,000 grant to the Pisgah Conservancy as part of an extensive rehabilitation of the Cantrell Creek Trail, which involves multiple partners, including Trout Unlimited, REI, Backcountry Horesemen, Mills River Partnership, Mountain True and Pisgah Area SORBA.

“This board is keenly aware that we must be stewards of our natural assets,” said Bullard. “The sustainability effort is our way of letting our community and our visitors know of the many ways they can help contribute to the health of our forests and waterways.

“The Cantrell Creek project, in particular, is a great example of several organizations working together to tackle a meaningful project.”

The TDA also partnered with Pisgah National Forest, DuPont State Recreational Forest, Gorges State Park, Transylvania County Emergency Management and Mission Health to continue a waterfall safety initiative established in 2016, which included additional signage, posters, an awareness campaign and a media day which resulted in significant news coverage.

The TDA partnered with Transylvania County to develop and install wayfinding signage at strategic locations throughout the county.

The TDA also installed new visitor kiosks at Sliding Rock and Gorges State Park, bringing the total number of kiosks to five.

“We are so excited about the potential for the TDA to continue making significant contributions to the economic health and vitality of every community in Transylvania County, said Bullard. “We look forward to celebrating our future with good friends at the brand rollout on Sept. 13.”


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