Brand embraces eccentrically friendly Oak Bay

Branding leads Oak Bay Tourism to promote its exclusivity to just the right visitor

Oak Bay is set to embrace and promote its exclusivity to just the right visitor after extensive branding work.

The Oak Bay Tourism Marketing Committee shared its vision Monday (Nov. 30) developed after a session last spring with stakeholders.  At that time “friendly” was the overall word stakeholders determined describes the community.

Afterward, the tourism committee sought the views of outsiders, said committee member Angus Matthews.

The words they heard then were polar opposite: not friendly; stuck up; expensive; and old, rich and nothing to do.

It confirmed the need for work, with a goal to “refresh, refocus and deal with the fact we don’t have a great purple cow.”

“Summer’s pretty good around here. Fall, spring, Christmas, these are seasons that need a shove,” Matthews said.

By distilling information from Destination BC and occupancy statistics they found that 62 per cent of visitors to south Vancouver Island stay with friends.

“The idea of ‘locals love what you love, and bring their friends,’ makes sense,” Matthews said.

It’s also consistent with what the committee heard stakeholders sought to promote.

The diverse range of experience opportunities offered a challenge in setting a specific brand. The community lacked a standout they dubbed the “purple cow” to promote.

The community holds clearly defined destination businesses, arts and the outdoors with a series of village centres to add to the mix. Oak Bay offers highlights such as the Cattle Point Dark Sky Urban Star Park, Trial Island ecological reserve and the Salish Sea lapping at three sides of the municipality “We are literally the heart of the Salish Sea … the geographic centre,” Matthews said. While each holds potential, none are the “purple cow.”

Stakeholders also said they wanted the right tourist. The committee boiled that down to visitors 35 and older with an aboveaverage income, embracing Oak Bay’s exclusive-yet-friendly persona.

All the work came together in the tagline: “We are the old, the new, the out there, and the open air” alongside it’s “Oak Bay, picture perfect” logo.

“It’s an evolving document. We’re not glued to this … brands have to breathe,” Matthews said.

During the summer the committee used the line on an inexpensive guerilla marketing campaign posturing city telephone poles with an image of a granny rocking out with an electric guitar and the tagline.

The city is one area they’ve determined to target for a slice of the action, drawing on visitors already in the region.

The branding project was funded by Oak Bay Tourism, which is in turn funded by a hotel tax paid by guests at the Oak Bay Beach Hotel and Oak Bay Guest House. Learn more at oakbaytourism.com.

 

cvanreeuwyk@oakbaynews.com

 

 

Just Posted

Longtime Saanich drama group brings pirates onstage for traditional Christmas pantomime

St. Luke’s Players present Treasure Island Dec. 18 to Jan. 4

Sex workers march in downtown Victoria for Red Umbrella Day

Red umbrellas became a symbol of sex workers after an art installation in Italy

MLA Adam Olsen calls for ‘substantial’ changes in provincial economy

Green Party MLA also criticizes gap between government rhetoric and actions

Saanich Police praise altruistic local for donating hand-knitted toques

Saanich police officers dropped the toques off at two youth shelters

VIDEO: Success of wildlife corridors in Banff National Park has advocates wanting more

Demand for more highway protection escalated after seven elk were killed by a semi-trailer near Canmore

B.C. VIEWS: Hunger does not end with the season

Despite innovations in food distribution, the need is still there in B.C. communities

Sharks beat Canucks 4-2 to snap 6-game skid

Vancouver visits Vegas on Sunday

Fans sing Canadian anthem after sound system breaks at BMW IBSF World Cup

The Canadians in attendance made sure their team and flag were honoured on the podium

VIDEO: Fire destroys Big White Ski Resort chalet

Social media eulogies peg the property, nicknamed “The Pharamacy,” as both loved and hated

Prince George RCMP use bait packages to catch porch pirates over the holidays

First-in-Canada program with Amazon looks to combat parcel theft

Nanaimo mechanical engineer creates thief tracking program

Nanaimo Thief Tracking lets users plot and share information about thefts online

Mayor wants B.C. to institutionalize severely mental ill people who are homeless

Those suffering from mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia, need specialized care, mayor says

Five things of note from Trudeau’s mandate letters to his ministers

Some marching orders come from the Liberal Party’s campaign, while others are new additions

Most Read