Developing Lincoln’s Tourism Brand and Destination Identity

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New Tourism Brand Identity Adopted

The Town of Lincoln has embraced a new tourism and destination brand identity, the Niagara Benchlands. The Town of Lincoln’s Committee of the Whole unanimously supported the new tourism and brand identity during its meeting on October 18. This project was the collective vision of staff, Town Council, the tourism industry, and the community. The new brand will now ignite Lincoln’s five-year Tourism Strategy and Action Plan.

Please note that the presented visual examples are not finalized and are presented to showcase the brand potential. Further refinements are underway as Town Staff work with their consultant. The final brand and visual identity guide will adhere to AODA standards to ensure final branding guidelines are accessible, and practical for all future applications.


Thank you for your input

The Town would like to thank project consultants Trajectory, members of the project steering committee (Tourism Strategy and Implementation Team), supporting delegations, and our local tourism operators and businesses for their continued commitment and support throughout this strategic development process. The new Niagara Benchlands destination identity is truly the culminating vision of the enthusiastic community engagement and support Staff received throughout the various project development stages.


Background

Attracting Tourism Investment and Supporting Job Creation

The Town's Economic Development and Tourism team has been working in partnership with Lincoln's local tourism sector and strategic tourism partners to roll out the Town's five-year Tourism Strategy and Action Plan (2020-2025) which was adopted by Town of Lincoln Council in June 2020.

We want to ensure that the Town's tourism and destination brand identity resonates with Lincoln's visitors, local residents and tourism businesses, while also allowing the Town to achieve the following goals:

  1. attract tourism investment and support job creation;
  2. advocate for greater tourism support; and
  3. create a Lincoln-centered destination that is compelling through a visitors lens locally, nationally and internationally.

Leveraging the positive momentum of stakeholder research and a tourism audit conducted in 2020, Town staff have been working with consultant Trajectory Brands and local industry leaders through its Tourism Strategy and Implementation Team (TSIT), to develop a strategic tourism and destination place brand for the Town of Lincoln.

To move forward the key priorities identified in Lincoln's five-year Tourism Strategy and Action Plan, the need to define a strong destination place brand identity for a Lincoln-centered destination was identified.

Defining Lincoln's Tourism, & Place Brand Identity

Place-Making + Place Marketing = Place Branding

Place branding helps to shape a community and increase its economic opportunities for residents and businesses of all sizes. A strong place brand can help create competitive commercial advantages, communicating why people should visit, open a business in a specific town/city or invest their money there. A strong place brand for the Town of Lincoln means that we can showcase our key competitive advantages (craft beverage, value-added agriculture, wide-open spaces, welcoming communities) and celebrate these differences as a point of distinction from fellow destination competitors.

The Town of Lincoln’s place brand will act as a strategic guidance system, as the Town looks to:

  • Create and build an identity for Lincoln that stands out from other competitive destinations, and clearly communicate its benefits and strengths to potential investors, visitors or residents.
  • Attract skilled labour, lucrative investment, and visitors
  • Make decisions around city planning, capital attraction/retention, infrastructure investment, and public policy creation/reform.
  • Create a unified voice and vision for the Lincoln-centered destination that focuses on the strengths of our diverse tourism sector
  • Bring the Town of Lincoln to life, by seeking inspiration from our unique culture, cuisine, technology, architecture, heritage, art and future vision.

When it comes to creating an identity for the Town of Lincoln, it’s about revealing who we are, who we want to become, and celebrating what makes us different. When we activate this message in unison, the Town of Lincoln destination will resonate as an attractive place for people to visit, live, work and prosper.


Could we add a disclaimer that notes- that the presented visual examples are NOT the final and are meant to show the brand solutions flexibility and scale?

New Tourism Brand Identity Adopted

The Town of Lincoln has embraced a new tourism and destination brand identity, the Niagara Benchlands. The Town of Lincoln’s Committee of the Whole unanimously supported the new tourism and brand identity during its meeting on October 18. This project was the collective vision of staff, Town Council, the tourism industry, and the community. The new brand will now ignite Lincoln’s five-year Tourism Strategy and Action Plan.

Please note that the presented visual examples are not finalized and are presented to showcase the brand potential. Further refinements are underway as Town Staff work with their consultant. The final brand and visual identity guide will adhere to AODA standards to ensure final branding guidelines are accessible, and practical for all future applications.


Thank you for your input

The Town would like to thank project consultants Trajectory, members of the project steering committee (Tourism Strategy and Implementation Team), supporting delegations, and our local tourism operators and businesses for their continued commitment and support throughout this strategic development process. The new Niagara Benchlands destination identity is truly the culminating vision of the enthusiastic community engagement and support Staff received throughout the various project development stages.


Background

Attracting Tourism Investment and Supporting Job Creation

The Town's Economic Development and Tourism team has been working in partnership with Lincoln's local tourism sector and strategic tourism partners to roll out the Town's five-year Tourism Strategy and Action Plan (2020-2025) which was adopted by Town of Lincoln Council in June 2020.

We want to ensure that the Town's tourism and destination brand identity resonates with Lincoln's visitors, local residents and tourism businesses, while also allowing the Town to achieve the following goals:

  1. attract tourism investment and support job creation;
  2. advocate for greater tourism support; and
  3. create a Lincoln-centered destination that is compelling through a visitors lens locally, nationally and internationally.

Leveraging the positive momentum of stakeholder research and a tourism audit conducted in 2020, Town staff have been working with consultant Trajectory Brands and local industry leaders through its Tourism Strategy and Implementation Team (TSIT), to develop a strategic tourism and destination place brand for the Town of Lincoln.

To move forward the key priorities identified in Lincoln's five-year Tourism Strategy and Action Plan, the need to define a strong destination place brand identity for a Lincoln-centered destination was identified.

Defining Lincoln's Tourism, & Place Brand Identity

Place-Making + Place Marketing = Place Branding

Place branding helps to shape a community and increase its economic opportunities for residents and businesses of all sizes. A strong place brand can help create competitive commercial advantages, communicating why people should visit, open a business in a specific town/city or invest their money there. A strong place brand for the Town of Lincoln means that we can showcase our key competitive advantages (craft beverage, value-added agriculture, wide-open spaces, welcoming communities) and celebrate these differences as a point of distinction from fellow destination competitors.

The Town of Lincoln’s place brand will act as a strategic guidance system, as the Town looks to:

  • Create and build an identity for Lincoln that stands out from other competitive destinations, and clearly communicate its benefits and strengths to potential investors, visitors or residents.
  • Attract skilled labour, lucrative investment, and visitors
  • Make decisions around city planning, capital attraction/retention, infrastructure investment, and public policy creation/reform.
  • Create a unified voice and vision for the Lincoln-centered destination that focuses on the strengths of our diverse tourism sector
  • Bring the Town of Lincoln to life, by seeking inspiration from our unique culture, cuisine, technology, architecture, heritage, art and future vision.

When it comes to creating an identity for the Town of Lincoln, it’s about revealing who we are, who we want to become, and celebrating what makes us different. When we activate this message in unison, the Town of Lincoln destination will resonate as an attractive place for people to visit, live, work and prosper.


Could we add a disclaimer that notes- that the presented visual examples are NOT the final and are meant to show the brand solutions flexibility and scale?

  • Niagara Benchlands new tourism brand identity for Lincoln

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    The Town of Lincoln has embraced a new tourism and destination brand identity, the Niagara Benchlands. The Town of Lincoln’s Committee of the Whole unanimously supported the new tourism and brand identity during its meeting on October 18. This project was the collective vision of staff, Town Council, the tourism industry, and the community.

    The new brand will now ignite Lincoln’s five-year Tourism Strategy and Action Plan.

  • Project Milestone Review

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    Review Timeline: December 2020 - Fall 2021

    Phase One- Inform and Audit

    • 1.1 Completed in January 2021; 42 local tourism operators, key stakeholders and community groups were interviewed to provide niche sector insights and market research to inform the positioning and brand narrative development for Lincoln's tourism and destination place brand identity.


    Phase Two – Define and Design

    • 2.1 Brand Strategy Development (Includes name, positioning and key messaging)
    • 2.2 Brand Workshop 2 (Includes name and strategy recommendations; creative brief and discussion)
    • 2.3 Visual Identity Exploration (Includes logo, colours, fonts, graphics, sample applications)
    • 2.4 Brand Workshop 3 (Includes visual identity review and product development prioritization)
    • 2.5 Community Consultation (Includes online survey to key stakeholders community at large)

    Timeline: Summer 2021

    Phase 3- Implementation

    • 3.1 Product Development
    • 3.2 Brand Workshop 4: Final Brand Recommendations (Includes; product recommendations, and marketing plan review)
    • 3.3 Three Year Marketing and Communications Plan Development
    • 3.4 Brand Applications and Templates
    • 3.5 Brand Guidelines and Artwork


    Timelines: Fall 2021

    *All development work completed with guidance from the Tourism Strategy and Implementation Team, consultation with local, Lincoln Tourism businesses and key stakeholders.

  • Project Background - How We Got Here

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    The Town of Lincoln is committed to building a strong, vibrant community by ensuring sustainable growth that serves the long-term interest of our economy, businesses, environment, and our citizens. A key to creating that prosperous future is the Town of Lincoln’s Economic Development Strategy & Action Plan 2019-2023, which identified tourism as one of the four key pillars that will drive Lincoln’s economic future.

    The Economic Development Strategy outlined two strategic tourism objectives:

    1. To develop a Lincoln-centered tourism strategy and action plan to provide needed infrastructure, expand capacity, increase visitor accommodations, and create memorable destinations, value, and services to attract more visitors to Lincoln.
    2. To initiate action on local tourism-related needs that lend themselves to immediate action (i.e. seeking investment for accommodation and signature destination experiences, and wayfinding signage).

    Recognizing the sector’s potential for economic growth, the Town committed to the development of a comprehensive Lincoln-centered tourism strategy with tourism consultants, Wavefront Planning and Design Inc. and The Tourism Company in March 2019. The intent of this plan aimed to protect /promote Lincoln’s assets, ensure sector sustainability and support economic development by:

    • Defining the role of the Town in the tourism sector;
    • Strengthening and growing the local tourism economy, through job creation and sustainable jobs;
    • Evaluating the Town of Lincoln’s strengths, weaknesses and opportunities;
    • Attracting new investment; and
    • Preparing a 5 -year action plan to guide the Town’s efforts.
  • Redeveloping Lincoln's Destination Marketing Organization

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    After much consideration and consultation with the tourism industry, the Tourism Strategy and Action Plan identified that the Town plays a key role in moving the industry forward and takes the lead in developing partnerships with public and private sector stakeholders, to ensure job creation in our community. In addition to this change in tourism leadership, the Tourism Strategy and Action plan also recommended:

    • The Town of Lincoln continues with a third-party organization to help drive destination promotion and product development. *Similar to the Twenty Valley Tourism Association but with a more narrowed and defined scope.
    • Collaborate with public and private sector partners to fund and manage a newly governed Destination Marketing Organization (DMO)
    • Review opportunities for greater municipal collaboration when strategically appropriate across West Niagara.


    One of the key aspects of this strategic initiative was to determine the Town’s role in tourism for the community. For approximately 20 years, the Town has outsourced tourism development and management to the Twenty Valley Tourism Association (TVTA), officially our Destination Marketing Organization (DMO).


    “The TVTA is excited to work with the Town of Lincoln to prepare, and implement a plan to launch a refreshed, and refocused tourism organization. This will help us move into the future stronger than ever.” - Justin Downes, Twenty Valley Tourism Association, Chair


    After careful consideration and consultation with the tourism industry, the recommendation is that the Town plays a larger role in managing the destination while allowing a public-private partnership between the Town (and other public sector stakeholders) and our private industry stakeholders to market the Lincoln-centred destination.

    On September 18, 2020, the Town of Lincoln and the City of St. Catharines formalized a sub-regional tourism marketing partnership. The partnership has been finalized through the establishment of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between both parties. The agreement expands both municipalities’ capacity to market to a broader audience and combine a shared rural and urban tourism experience.

    The MOU will also serve to lay the foundation for a potential joint Destination Marketing Organization to assist with destination marketing and management of the collaborative destination. This partnership recognizes the mutual benefit of promoting our distinct destinations in tandem.

Page last updated: 20 October 2021, 08:58