Kent County Tourism Corporation proudly revealed its new brand identity at their annual Celebration of Tourism Luncheon. Moving forward, Kent County Tourism will utilize the new brand Delaware’s Quaint Villages, “At Your Own Pace” in all marketing materials such as Visitor guides, brochures, print/digital advertising and social media. The organization also has a new website in development utilizing the brand.
The new branding was created by Delucchi Plus, out of Washington D.C with research done by the Nation’s top destination researcher, Dr. James Petrick from Texas A&M University. Per Dr. Petrick’s research, the new branding has the potential to bring over 101 million dollars in incremental visitor spending to the area and raise hotel occupancy by 24 percentage points over the next few years. Kent County Tourism is currently working on a media plan with Delucchi Plus that would guarantee 4.5 million dollars in economic impact to the area in the first year.
“There are 45 million people within a 250 miles’ radius of Kent County that are potentially interested in visiting our area”, said Wendie Vestfall, Kent County Tourism Corporation. “It’s our goal to make a bigger economic impact for the area by reaching as many of these people as possible. We will do that through this new targeted branding and advertising. From our research, these people take on average 19 days of vacation a year. So, we want to make sure that some of that time definitely spent here in Kent County.”
Research was gathered in a three-step process that started with input from residents and businesses at three branding roundtables that were held in Dover, Milford and Smyrna in mid-July. This was done to determine local perception of Kent County’s image and what tourism attributes residents found were assets.
Following the local roundtables, online panel studies were done in 13 metropolitan areas within a 250-mile radius of Kent County. Potential visitors were asked to rate Kent County on its attributes based on performance, importance, value, intent to visit and overall rating. The agency also utilized an online conversation technology tool called Sysomos to listen to what visitors from outside the area where saying about Kent County and its attributes on Social Media over the past few years.
From the research, what potential visitors found appealing about Kent County was its ease of access from larger metropolitan areas like Washington D.C. and Philadelphia, PA. It’s slower pace, farm to table cuisine, history & culture and quaint towns were also ranked high. NASCAR, cycling, birding, gambling and water activities were mentioned as favorite things to do while visiting. From this research a new logo, tag line and creative were crafted to come up with Delaware’s Quaint Villages, At Your Own Pace.
The main vehicle for the new brand will be a new responsive design website that will launch after
the new year. With help from the branding, the new website will create a compelling online identity that better engages website visitors and creates a positive experience for all the target audiences that were determined from the research.
All attractions, hotels, restaurants, retail shops will have pages and listings that can be update by staff of those establishments. The site will also provide a much-needed universal event calendar for the area so people can stay on top of all the events happening in Kent County.
“The new website will highlight Kent County and our quaint villages as a vibrant and compelling destination, featuring plentiful attractions, rich history, and entertaining activities”, said Wendie Vestfall, Executive Director for Kent County Tourism Corporation. “We will be creating specific content that speaks directly to each visitor group determined by the research and branding. Ultimately, we want to provide current and potential visitors with a wealth of information that will keep visitors engaged with attractions, activities, and places to stay in the area, extending average trip length and securing additional future travel.”
Kent County Tourism plans to hold several workshops before the website launches to train businesses on how to create their listings and how to utilize the universal event calendar. Those businesses wishing to be included in the workshops can contact Kent County Tourism by emailing KCTC@visitdover.com.
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