Logo needs reality check
Re: “Tourism group unveils new logo and slogan,” April 15
The seeming intent of this group is commendable, yet it so far seems focused more on its form than content — and content it will take to sell the place!
Let’s play a game. You read Nelson Kootenay Lake Destination Tourism Marketing Organization quickly once, then look away and repeat the name quickly from memory. Then you do the same with Nelson Kootenay Lake Tourism Association Board. No cheating now! Nelson Kootenay Lake is shorter but in its parts ubiquitous already and not referring to a particular purpose. Acronyms won’t work either. Branding.
Far out. For real. “The two phrases build on the historical, artistic and cultural character the area is famous for, while promoting the extraordinary holiday experience the area offers.” That and “the area’s authenticity and distinctness.” Not to forget that Nelson also is one of the 10 most beautiful villages in the world and the prettiest small town in Canada. For real!
Far out indeed may take many back many years. Back to hippies and dope — no problem in itself — but do we want to sell Nelson as dopers’ heaven — then and now — to families? And — with a generally older demographic — for real is not necessarily a frequent expression either. Yet these groups are where the money is. It is disingenuous (and counter-productive) to say that one half of this Far out/For real will surely appeal to one demographic — so the other half doesn’t have to! Or both! Or whatever!
Then the logo. It’s not a logo as such — a uniquely expressive, encompassing symbol — but a generically pleasant picture. Various graphic combos of mountains and water — in greens and blues — are found in Nelson and anywhere in B.C.
According to the City of Nelson’s gushy website, everything tourists could possibly want is in place here. So what’s there to sell that won’t simply sell itself over the net?
The Chamber of Commerce runs Nelson’s official Visitor Info Centre, yet this centre’s info is woefully short on the historio-cultural diversity Nelson and area “is famous for.” Its website Discover Nelson — typos and all — is a one-note paean to Nelson’s Anglo mining movers-and-shakers, whose money — directly/indirectly — put up the buildings Nelson has based its so far one-note identity on. This discovery of Nelson stops with incorporation — over 100 years ago — and has been promising “To be continued” for years. Nelson eventually catching up with its history!
It’s clear that neither website’s approach will make the money roll in. The first move to make for this new organization then should be to get real with its image and focus by letting go of the rhetoric, climbing out of the Heritage City box and actually discovering, exploring and accepting Nelson historio-culturally as a whole as was/is. Then itemizing its components honestly and building on those.
This process would naturally initiate the drastic revamp both websites need — if they should be recognized as possibly being a valuable tool to attract potential visitors.
The efforts of an organization like this could greatly contribute to sustainable local growth, but — based on this article — I see an in-house reality-check needed before all else.
Claus Lao Schunke, Nelson