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RANT REAX: The Convention & Visitors Bureau on "Please don't call it 'Cape Fear' any more"

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By: Connie Nelson
Wilmington Cape Fear Coast Convention and Vistors Bureau

First and foremost, this exciting new campaign is a work in progress. It will evolve as more visitor research and tourism partner/stakeholder input crystallizes. It will become final in late August after it has been presented to and approved by the TDA Board. In September, the TDA will present the campaign to the tourism industry, at which time we will provide local travel partners with a marketing “package” that will include logo, files and a branding, positioning and messaging usage guide to ensure marketing consistency across the tourism industry.

As the official destination marketing organization for New Hanover County, it is the Tourism Development Authority’s (TDA) responsibility to promote four distinct entities. In destination marketing, the primary objective is to promote the destination from a geographical perspective. The secondary objective is to create a sense of place in the mind of the visitors. In this day of GPS technology, it is imperative to lead with an actual destination name over that of an obscure brand name. The beach towns have graciously set aside individual destination marketing to allow the dominant destination brand – Wilmington – to take center stage. For the first time in more than 20 years, Wilmington is being positioned as the lead “portal” through which vacationers locate, consider and eventually experience our vacation paradise. Name recognition is exponentially enhanced by branding the single destination “Wilmington, NC”, versus an obscure name like ‘Cape Fear Coast’.

The tag ‘Historic River District & Island Beaches’ elevates value by suggesting in one place – Wilmington, NC – a visitor can experience a unique collection of tourist assets from the river to the sea. This tagline is meant to more clearly define the area when advertising and marketing to reach visitors in a cluttered communications and digital age and to position against competitors who use the dominant city's own name for marketing. Defining the single destination with the tag of ‘Historic River District & Island Beaches’ as opposed to ‘Cape Fear Coast’ quickly indicates an historic and entertainment district located on the river and multiple beaches that offer multiple vacation opportunities. The destination website and marketing materials will further extend the messaging to detail all product assets. In a spirit of cooperation and unity, the TDA Board, which includes elected officials from the three beach towns and the City of Wilmington and New Hanover County, have agreed on an umbrella brand that will add their considerable coastal assets to Wilmington’s ‘portfolio’.

Overall, both tourist and stakeholder support of the new campaign/brand direction has been statistically and overwhelmingly positive, providing the TDA clear and powerful direction for marketing the collective destination.

We love the residents of Wilmington and the Beaches and we value their passion and pride. However, and with the utmost respect, the target audience is the visitor (a.k.a. our customer) and how they would most relate to a more clearly defined brand and tag line.

READ THE ORIGINAL RANT

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???

"However"

"We love the residents of Wilmington and the Beaches and we value their passion and pride. However, and with the utmost respect, the target audience is the visitor (a.k.a. our customer) and how they would most relate to a more clearly defined brand and tag line".

Who the hell do you think you work for (a.k.a. the taxpayers)!

Clearly define this: QUIT SPENDING MONEY. DO YOUR JOB AND PROMOTE WHAT WE'VE ALREADY GOT. IT WILL ALWAYS BE THE CAPE FEAR RIVER....

Go For It

By all means please go ahead and pour that money into more name recognition for Wilmington. The roads in New Hanover County are some effectively maintained and congestion free in the state. Between that and the state-of-the-art water runoff system (unless it rains), Wilmington is every tourists dream vacation. In addition the easy beach access is a dream. It only takes 45-55 minutes to whisk the 5 miles over to Wrightsville beach on a Saturday. Between that and Historical Downtown and its plethora of college bars, gangs and occasional murders make Wilmington the wholesome and quaint historic town every family wants to visit.
Yeah… We’re in a recession and this is how our money is being spent.

Convention & visitors bureau

Does anyone find it telling that the respondent is from the
Wilmington Cape Fear Coast Convention and Vistors Bureau or that "Wilmington" and "Convention" figure prominently in that name?

Perhaps the beach towns do, in fact, have a legitimate gripe about being underrepresented in the focus of efforts to attract tourists. Let's face it: without the beaches, Wilmington and all of its charming attributes would be relegated to the status of just another inland town on a river. The beach town's appear to be getting short shrift relative to the convention center.

Cafe Fearonomix

Scared "Cape Fear" will scare off the tourists? We will lose revenue? Well why not pay an out of state advertising/marketing agency to figure out a way to make our area a preferred destination, right up there with our neighbor Myrtle Beach. If anyone can turn our wonderful area into a Mini Vegas the ad agency from Myrtle Beach sure has a advantageous position.

Ms. Nelson reminds me of the aaying, "The lady doth protest too much, methinks."

Keep money local!

Changing the Name

Does taxpaying dollars pay for this survey? If so do you not think it is a huge waste of TAXPAYERS money! With the economy as bad as it is and no jobs and you are worried about changing the name??? It is still going to be Wilmington and downtown is still just that crime the drugs the fights. I think you people have lost your mind! You also need to get your priorities in check. If this is funded by taxpayers please everyone go vote in November and lets get these clowns out of office!!

Cape Fear

Three words: "Total Bull Hockey"

Total BS

I did not make clear that I was referring to the Chamber of Commerce response. What the chamber is full of, I can not say on this site. Bull Hockey was the best I could come up with. Alert readers will understand what I meant.