Indiana Office Of Tourism Development Unveils State’s New Consumer Brand
Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann and Mark Newman, executive director of the Indiana Office of Tourism Development (IOTD) recently unveiled a new consumer brand for Indiana. This new brand, the embodiment of the well-earned reputation for Hoosier hospitality and authentic experiences, is “Honest to Goodness Indiana.”
“Everywhere you go in Indiana, the people and the experiences are genuine. Even our busiest attractions satisfy and delight visitors because here, more so than anywhere else, hospitality matters. That’s real. That’s Honest to Goodness Indiana,” Ellspermann said.
The development of a new brand is an opportunity to create a unified consumer message for Indiana, connecting all regions; from north to central to south. The goals of this project were simple: to create a brand that truly represents the entire state; to be respectful of Indiana’s history but also be forward looking; and to be fitting for both rural and urban settings. The Brand Narrative:
Indiana is a state of undertold stories with wonderful assets and engaging people. In Indiana, our smiles are warm, our handshakes firm and our places have an undeniable charm. Our people do not pretend to be something they are not, because they are proud to be who they are. That genuine personality translates into authentic experiences for visitors traveling our state. In Indiana you can spend your days paddling a winding river, fishing an inland lake or browsing the shops on Main Street. You can visit a bustling capital city, sunbathe beneath soaring sand dunes, climb the highest hilltops or explore the deepest depths beneath the surface of the earth. You can enjoy homegrown produce – and get to know the growers – at our farmers markets, eateries, festivals and vineyards. Our cities offer the world-class museums, performing arts and high-energy sporting events you expect with friendliness that’s an added bonus. That’s Honest to Goodness Indiana.
“This announcement begins a new era for Indiana’s travel, tourism and hospitality industry. Today’s launch is the culmination of nearly a year’s worth of research and creative development and many of our industry partners contributed to the development of Indiana’s new brand,” Newman said. “Honest to Goodness Indiana is reflective of the entire state and for the first time in many years, our consumer brand incorporates all regions of Indiana.”
The launch of this consumer brand comes as new economic impact data reveals the importance of tourism to Indiana’s economy. The report, released in late December 2013, shows the travel, tourism and hospitality industry is the sixth largest industry in the state (excluding government), is directly responsible for nearly 140,000 jobs and contributes $10 billion in revenue to Indiana businesses.
“The economic impact of the industry is remarkable and with this new state effort, it can expand even more,” Ellspermann added. “The growing tourism momentum in Indiana makes now the best time to launch a new brand. Continuing the collaboration between the Office of Tourism Development and our industry partners, we can achieve great things in this important industry.”
The execution of the brand strategy includes ad placements in ten targeted regional and national magazines that appeal to the travel lifestyle. The ads use a story-telling platform to highlight Indiana’s destinations, attractions and cultural heritage. Readers of Midwest Living, Food Network Magazine, Cooking Light and others will soon read narratives showcasing the Honest to Goodness Indiana stories of Hoosier originals such as Joseph Decuis, the farm-to-fork mecca in charming Roanoke; or the story behind Huber Winery and Indiana’s award-winning wine industry; and other such stories that abound in the Hoosier State.
Outdoor billboard, radio and television advertising will also be utilized. IOTD will focus on one market in Indiana and one market outside the state, with future expansion as resources allow. The in-state market will be Indianapolis, the state’s population center. St. Louis will be the out-of-state market. St. Louis is within driving distance, can attract overnight visitors, offers affordable advertising options and has not had a heavy Indiana advertising presence.
Honest to Goodness Indiana replaces the “Restart Your Engines” campaign that was launched in April 2006. Early in the process, IOTD convened a brand development panel, comprised of over thirty individuals from within the travel, tourism and hospitality industry, government leaders and representatives from both the public and private sectors. Additionally, nearly 8,000 consumers participated in the development process through surveys and focus groups. The task of all convened participants was to describe the qualities, attributes and allure of Indiana. IOTD then developed the brand campaign with Indianapolis-based marketing company Williams Randall. The mark, pictured above in the primary color scheme, will have a broad and diverse color palette applied to it, reflecting the diversity of Indiana’s assets. The brackets are intended to give the mark a “stamp” feel; the Honest to Goodness Indiana stamp of approval. The logo is intentionally tilted to add playfulness to the design and the 16-degree tilt is a subtle doff of the cap to 1816, the year of Indiana’s statehood.
“We are at a unique time where we have an opportunity to create unprecedented momentum for our state with the bicentennial approaching in 2016,” Newman said.
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