Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Governor Doyle Unveils Wisconsin's New Brand Platform

LAKE GENEVA – Governor Jim Doyle tonight unveiled the Wisconsin Department of Tourism’s new brand platform, which celebrates the state’s culture of original thinkers.

“The new brand platform captures the people of Wisconsin and their legacy of originality, innovation, pride and passion,” Governor Doyle said. “Whether it’s Georgia O’Keeffe or Aldo Leopold, the leaders of the state’s biotech industry, or our beloved Packer fans decked out in cheeseheads, Wisconsin is a place where imagination and creativity abound.”

The Governor’s remarks, which highlighted the annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism, capped an extensive five-month branding research and evaluation initiative led by the Department of Tourism.

“This year’s conference marked an especially momentous occasion for the state’s tourism industry, as we believe we’ve unearthed, once and for all, the Wisconsin brand promise that will differentiate us from the competition,” said Tourism Secretary Kelli A. Trumble. “This brand platform has the potential to elevate the state regionally, nationally and even internationally, while showcasing Wisconsin’s famous hospitality.”

The brand platform is not a slogan or an ad headline, but a strategic framework from which a new theme line, advertising concepts and marketing materials will be developed. The brand promise, revealed to the audience of nearly 1,000 attending the Governor’s speech, reads: “Because of the passionate nature of the state’s people to create fun, express themselves in original ways and feel more comfortable doing it here than anywhere else, in Wisconsin originality rules.”

The branding platform will guide the crafting of a new Tourism slogan and marketing communications to inspire people to vacation in Wisconsin. It also has the potential to be applied to other industries, such as commerce, agriculture, natural resources, workforce development and education, providing the state with a unifying competitive strategy.

A brand committee, facilitated by a firm nationally known for brand marketing strategy – Lindsay Stone & Briggs – conducted the brand initiative process, which began in October 2007. The volunteer committee included representatives from Harley-Davidson, the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Wisconsin’s Native American nations, the advertising/marketing sector and the arts community.

The 2008 Governor’s Conference on Tourism was held at The Grand Geneva Resort & Spa, March 2–4. The annual convention, which draws representatives from Wisconsin’s travel and hospitality industry, is the largest event of its kind in the nation. Tourism is Wisconsin’s third-largest industry (after agriculture and manufacturing), generating nearly $13 billion in traveler spending in 2006.

For more information about travel in Wisconsin, including free travel-planning guides, visit travelwisconsin.com or call the Wisconsin Department of Tourism’s toll-free number, 1-800-432-TRIP (8747). Travelers can also obtain free guides and information at the Wisconsin Welcome Centers, located in select state-border cities.


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