For the past year, there has been a huge collaborative effort going on behind the scenes from our planning, creative and digital departments, Northumberland County Council and Northumberland Tourism, to produce a world-class brand and digital platform for Northumberland.
As an agency, it’s rare that we get to be there, live, for that moment when every single one of the stakeholders, beyond the client, take in all our hard work for the very first time.
Yesterday, we had a front row seat for just that.
Our MD, Dan Appleby had the privilege of being part of the online event, which brought together the county’s businesses and covered the county’s plan for recovery from Covid-19 and looking to the future.
We had the pleasure of hearing from Patricia Yates of Visit Britain, Bernard Donoghue of the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions, Tourism Alliance Director, Kurt Janson and Cllr Cath Homer, the cabinet member for tourism. Then Dan unveiled the fresh new brand and immersive online platform that we have been hard at work creating for all of the tourism businesses in Northumberland.
Our planning department first established the scale of the challenge Northumberland faces as a destination by gathering insights from the potential audiences. Their findings showed us that as wonderful as Northumberland is, with higher satisfaction ratings than either Cornwall or The Lake District, too few people actually consider it as a holiday destination and too many people reject it out of hand completely. So we knew that there was a brand challenge, as well as a user experience challenge for the website.
The brand that we have created is an authentic, modern and elegant piece of design which is sympathetic to the rich history of Northumberland. To us it was crucial that the brand identity was true to Northumberland, and it will act as a perfect platform to show off all of the Endless Experiences in Northumberland, things that non-visitors simply don’t associate with Northumberland.
The new digital platform allows businesses to be listed, viewed, booked, saved, favourited, reviewed, shared, contacted and so much more. Its purpose is for a visitor to start seeing and interacting with those endless experiences from the minute a visitor first lands on visitnorthumberland.com.
Built with visitors’ personal preferences and decisions at the heart of everything, the platform uses clever tagging that allows for the online experience to be truly personalised to each visitor, presenting them with relevant information to inspire their next visit.
The new brand and platform belongs to Northumberland and the businesses within it, so there’s going to be a huge collaborative effort throughout August to unite them all in preparation for the official public launch in September.
This is only the beginning, as we ramp up to marketing activity at the end of 2020 in preparation for people booking their 2021 trips.