White Rock is looking for a new identity as Pete McMartin tells us in the Vancouver Sun this morning. Perhaps the City of White Rock could do more to sell its charm but the reality is beloved by many already.
White Rock Beach is famous for its 1,500 ft. long pier, its 2.5km long beach promenade and of course the large white rock which weighs in at 486 tons and is a glacial deposit from the coastal range.
In some ways it reminds me of a place close to my birthplace. That was Seaton Carew on the North-East coast of England.
A splendid promenade connects the Marina with one of the Victorian’s favourite North-East resorts. Seaton Carew with its miles of broad golden sands and safe sheltered bathing is still the perfect venue for a traditional family day out at the seaside. Enjoy good flat beaches to fly kites and build castles, rock pools to hunt shrimps and amusement arcades that flicker and sing.
In those days marketing was all about getting the right slogan or tagline. Seaton Carew proudly proclaimed that it was Canny For The Bairns. For those unaccustomed to the lingo, that translates as ‘the kids will love it’. Seaton Carew seems to have lost the slogan on the Web according to a Google search for the phrase, since the bairns now seek more excitement, to be found only at Flamingoland, Yorkshire in the UK.
The standard Vekoma corkscrew coaster. Dated, and dull, the ride is notoriously rough on necks. It is nevertheless a classic, worth a ride.
Certainly White Rock does not want to appear in any way dated or dull.
This whole business of new identities is really about marketing. How can White Rock get a new brand? That is what Montreal has been struggling with in recent years. How can you rebrand something as complex as the city of Montreal? What is really needed is a reason for people to buy – what the experts call a Unique Selling Proposition (USP).
David Taylor of the brandgym works with some great brands like T-Mobile, Hellmann’s, Bertolli, Top Gear, Peroni and Mars and he today is suggesting a brand should communicate a RTB. That’s Reason To BUY, not Reason to Believe. It all sounds like USP by another name.
Hear the Buzz
White Rock now has a re-branding report funded by a $70,000 grant from the Union of B.C. Municipalities. It was prepared for them by Whisper who are Brand Strategy Consultants. Perhaps the report will help them define a new Reason To BUY. However it may be that Whisper has more to offer than just a new RTB. Perhaps White Rock needs a whisper campaign.
As it says on the Whisper Home Page:
Brand strategy boils down to eliminating the need for advertising and PR. By establishing an engaging brand that consumers are drawn to, you can stop chasing them.
Creating that level of engagement requires that you change and take ownership of the conversation in your industry. Own the conversation. It’s the only brand strategy you need to focus on.
It is what people are calling Buzz marketing now. Find ways of getting into the news. Spread the word. Use the social media. When people on Facebook or in their blogs are telling their friends about White Rock BC, then the City Council will know that $70,000 has been well spent.