Throughout 2016 and into early 2017, I’ve occasionally written on the new branding and marketing tactics we’ve been rolling out. Our new look officially launched in early 2016 with a new website, followed by fresh print and digital advertisements. But we were far from complete and had many other things on the horizon – including some fun new buttons I’ll get to in a moment.
Since those first ads were developed, we’ve created window clings to assist in the promotion of our smart phone app around town. In coordination with our magazine publisher, we’ve also helped put together two newly designed issues of the Seaside Visitor Guide. Included in the branding overhaul has been a merchandise guide. With this tool in hand, area merchants are encouraged to create t-shirts, towels, bags, coffee mugs or just about anything else you can think of to put our fun iconography on. One of the most recent tools was a brand amplification toolkit, also designed with Seaside businesses in mind.
The amplification guide was put together to be an extension of the marketing and advertising we do from this office. Most businesses have their own logo and name badge that they use in a variety of ways, so we came up with a way for the overall Seaside creative to be incorporated into what an individual business is doing with its own identity. The most exciting piece of that project is the arrival of ten, 1.5 inch buttons that use the icons I just mentioned to start a conversation, or show off a popular Seaside activity that locals and visitors participate in.
Promenade Walker, Sand Dollar Finder, Bike Rider, Kayaker and Hiker represent the five buttons that incorporate getting out and recreating amidst the beautiful area so many of us call home. Other buttons include Official Candy Tester, Sand Castle Builder, Carousel Rider and Seal Feeding Expert — all meant to pay homage to Seaside pastimes that families have been participating in for decades. The final button recognizes the Craft Beer Taster – a popular activity that has spawned the development of close to a dozen breweries here along Oregon’s North Coast alone.
The buttons are free and available to businesses immediately, and I already have a few that have expressed interest in participating. They’ll offer any of the 10 buttons to their staff, encouraging them to pick an activity or two that they are most passionate about. The end goal is to have as many of these buttons being worn across town as possible, helping to prompt conversations with customers and promote some of the fun activities Seaside has to offer. We’ve also talked about creating a program that allows consumers to collect single buttons for all the activities they have completed while visiting Seaside. The idea here is to do it in a fun way that mirrors the scouting merit badge program so many are familiar with.
Have a thought or a question about tourism in Seaside, or maybe an idea for a future column? Drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Jon Rahl is the director of tourism for the Seaside Visitors Bureau and assistant general manager of the Seaside Civic & Convention Center.