by Lori Adler, reporter
The Minocqua Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau has been going through a rebranding process in order to better attract visitors to the area. The new brand, “Let’s Minocqua”, establishes Minocqua as a unique destination while emphasizing the area’s outdoor experiences and capitalizing on the nostalgia many feel toward the Wisconsin Northwoods.
In order to create a new brand, chamber board members had to determine exactly who visits the Minocqua area and why.
“We were trying to figure out who we are. We have been on this journey for months now, sort of figuring out what is our brand, who is it that we are, what do we represent, and we started out by looking at this as a strategy and doing some survey work,” Minocqua chamber director Krystal Westfahl explained.
In order to define what the Minocqua area experience was, a series of surveys were done. These included surveys conducted with visitors both as one-on-one and via email. The surveys helped board members narrow down the main types of visitors Minocqua sees and the reasons they visit.
While visitors do come from all parts of the country, most are from the Midwest. Looking for destinations within driving distance is a common theme as is the chance to relive past Northwoods memories. The biggest draw, however, is the natural surroundings and outdoor activities that the area can offer.
“We are finding that every one of our visitors that we talked to really is rooted in this natural resources aspect of life, and they really want to get out and enjoy whatever it is they’re looking to enjoy,” Westfahl said.
Once determining who the visitors are and what types of activities they are looking to do, the chamber board then worked on developing a new brand.
“The evolution of the nature of tourism development and promotion is really what we’re talking about here,” Westfahl stated. “So in the past, you saw quite a bit more functional explanation of who you were and what that was.” She then added, “We were looking at adopting a different type of structure, so organizations have adopted naming structures that serve more as calls to action, inviting visitors to come to their destination.”
Typical call-to-action branding incorporates words like visit, discover and explore such as “Visit Eau Claire,” “Discover Wisconsin” and “Explore Rhinelander.”
“We wanted to be a little bit different than that. So because Minocqua is unique, we wanted to make sure that we sounded unique – still inviting, still friendly, but unlike all other destinations,” Westfahl explained.
As a result, “Let’s Minocqua” was unveiled this week as the new chamber brand, encompassing everything that was learned through the many surveys and research. The logo features water, pine trees and sunshine, with a color scheme that focuses on nature including blue, green, yellow and brown. The logo also embraces the nostalgic feel of old postcards and badges collected at summer camp. The new brand fits with the imagery of the outdoors already utilized by the chamber.
“We are trying to emphasize that we are grounded in nature here in the Northwoods,” Westfahl said.
The new logo is designed with several variations depending upon the application. In addition to print and digital advertising, the logo will also be added to shirts, mugs and other specialty items to be sold at various chamber partners throughout the area. The logo is already in use on various print publications and is being added to the chamber website as well. In addition, the visitor center in Minocqua has installed a new sign featuring the logo.