The importance of branding a destination

September 24, 2012 

Think of your favorite branding element and the first thing that comes to mind is probably a logo, such as Apple or Bradenton's own Tropicana orange juice. How about Nike's slogan "Just do it" or a jingle -- who can recite the Oscar Meyer Weiner Song from memory? Probably quite a few of you, and I guess I just dated myself.

Branding is especially important in Florida where 67 destination marketing areas are all aiming to show potential travelers how our destination is more appealing than all the others. And for good reason when you consider domestic visitors spend about $120 each day. International visitors spend closer to $150 a day on vacation!

A highly effective brand image can also go a long way in convincing your audience that only your product will satisfy what they're looking for. On Oct. 1, Manatee County will launch a new brand campaign we think truly defines our area's unique beauty and relaxing atmosphere. We're going to become "Bradenton/Anna Maria Island/ Longboat Key -- Florida's West Coast" and our new tagline will be "Real. Authentic. Florida." The logo and other brand elements will include turquoise and rustic colors, all of which are natural colors that accent our beautiful bay and gulf waters as well as our authentic setting.

With the launch of our new brand, I urge our municipalities, chambers of commerce and private sector businesses in the hos

pitality industry to believe in our new brand and to find ways to implement some of the elements within their own organization so we'll have a more consistent look and messaging for our visitors. Our brand was based completely on extensive consumer research so we know it resonates well with our visitors. Keep in mind, when we use the word "branding" in our dialog, we are focusing on all of the ongoing actions we engage in to successfully "brand" our product and services throughout our beautiful destination.

Contact us today for a brand ambassador packet at 941-729-9177, ext. 243 so we can put our best brand forward as an industry and community. For additional information, visit We also invite you to follow us on Facebook at "Visit Bradenton Gulf Islands" and Twitter @VisitBradenton.

Elliott Falcione, executive director of the Bradenton Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, can be reached at or 941-729-9177, ext. 222.

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