Interesting story in today’s Daily News about the Canada’s Tournament Capital brand.
TRU lecturer David Carter has assigned his tourism-management class to come up with a new marketing program for Kamloops. Interesting assignment, but the premise behind it is shallow and just plain off base.
The story quotes Kaethan Reichel of Kamloops Innovation Centre as saying, “This is a conversation that we as a city need to be having, but sometimes it feels as though the tournament capital brand is untouchable or a taboo subject.”
Hello? I’m guessing Reichel is new to Kamloops and hasn’t been around for the dozens of brain-storming sessions and public debates over branding the city, nor aware of the many past “brands” such as “Hub City,” “Lake a Day for As Long As Yo Stay,” “Heart of the West,” etc. etc.
The issue, as presented to the students, is that Tournament Capital doesn’t say enough about Kamloops and what it has to offer. Let me explain this again: No slogan can hope to capture the full “essence” of a city. And no city has to be just one thing.
Kamloops is the legitimate (and copyrighted) tournament capital of Canada. It’s also got great arts amenities. And is a great place to do business. And is a golf mecca. And an outdoor recreation wonderland. And boasts some of the best fly-fishing lakes in the world. And has become a technology incubator.
Try sticking all that in a logo. It’s a fatal mistake to try marketing a city to all demographics and interest groups at once. Target the specific markets. A city is different things to different people. You don’t sell a two-door convertible to a family of five.
The Tournament Capital program is a stupendous success. Millions of dollars in local, provincial and federal funding have created the facilities and programs to back it up, and millions are coming back in revenue. It works. Leave it alone.
Now, class, if you want to come up with a few other ideas on how to emulate that success in other areas of marketing the city, please proceed.