What's in a tourism brand?

One Man's Opinion
By Doug Collins
May 21, 2017 - 5:00am
Image Credit: Tourism Kamloops

KAMLOOPS — It may take me a while to “get” the new logo from Tourism Kamloops. The new logo was unveiled at a social get together this week. “Boldly Unscripted” is the new moniker for the city’s tourism effort. I am not sure what that means. Maybe it will take me a while to figure it out, and it may become more clear once the rest of the campaign is unveiled. It does make me think, and that’s good.

The image in a brand is often more important than what the words actually say. Do you get an image that “unscripted” means you do what you want when you come here? No preconceived ideas? Let’s just go and see what’s here? That’s kind of what rolls around in my mind. But if I’m driving by on the highway, or reading some tourism literature about Kamloops, does that entice me to want to stop in and see what’s here? When I hear “The Tournament Capital of Kamloops," that says something to me.

I did some Google searches on community brands. Some are pretty specific. Aurora, Illinois calls itself “The City of Lights." Fargo, North Dakota’s brand says “North of Normal." Columbus, Indiana says “Unexpected, Unforgettable.” Some of them are specific, some are vague. "Boldly Unscripted" obviously falls into the latter category.

I’m not saying that the new brand is bad, or doesn’t capture the imagination. In some ways, it has great potential. I guess, as a person who likes to have something concrete, something like “An Adventure Playground” or “A Flyfisher’s Paradise” or “The Mining Capital” (joke) would be better. For those who “get” the vision, this new slogan probably is inspiring. For me, it will take some getting used to.

Let me say, on a positive note, Tourism Kamloops should be commended for coming up with something that is different, bold, and in fact, off the script of many types of brands. Hell, who would have thought the word 'Apple' would have become far more associated with electronics than fruit? Let’s give it a chance and see where it goes.