Trent Ernst, Editor
The District of Tumbler Ridge has chosen its new logo for tourism marketing, and, as expected, it centres around the Geopark.
“To not utilize and build upon the dinosaur effect as a main draw is missing an effect to set Tumbler Ridge apart,” says Vince Scott from Concept Design, a Prince George company that was tasked with creating the new look and feel.
He came before Council on September 6 to review the proposed logo and branding for Tumbler Ridge to get approval so the company can move forward with final files.
A trio of logos were first brought to the Tourism Advisory Committee (TAC), who chose this logo as the one to bring before Council. Representatives of the ATV Club, Museum, Geopark, Ridge Riders, Chamber, and the Wolverine Nordic and Mountain Society sit on the TAC, which supported moving forward with this brand.
A brand, says Scott, is made up of many parts. Consider an iceberg, he says. “The part sticking up above the water is the logo and tagline, but below the water is the marketing materials and strategies used.”
The new logo has been designed to attract visitors and will be used to attract visitors. It will not be replacing the District of Tumbler Ridge’s logo.
The new logo is “strong and direct with a fossilized skull of a Tyrannosaur still buried in the earth, awaiting it’s discovery,” says Scott. “The somewhat playful depiction of the dinosaur promises something spectacular: an experience that is raw and unpolished. A true adventure. Hand chiseled letters capture the rugged rock formation of the Geopark,”
Scott says the logo is very versatile, and the usages are endless. The brand is meant to be used as an umbrella brand for all the things that happen in the Geopark, but can be used to highlight specific businesses and attractions in the geopark.
While the logo itself focuses on dinosaurs, using quality imagery for other subject will allow for marketing other attractions he says.
There will be no cost for companies and groups to use the logo, but anyone wanting to use the logo will have to go through a gatekeeper to make sure they use it properly. CAO Jordan Wall says the logo would be shared between the District of Tumbler Ridge and the Tumbler Ridge Global Geopark. He says the Tourism Situation Analysis that was undertaken last year came back identifying the biggest weakness for the town as brand confusion. “When people came to Tumbler Ridge, they couldn’t figure out why there was six logos on everything. What’s the difference between the WNMS and the TRMF? All these things are coming together, but where does the Global Geopark fit in? It was very confusing. We had to find a way to clean that up. What this provides is that one tourism brand. It’s going to be the Global Geopark’s Tourism Brand and the District’s Brand.”
Wall says this isn’t going to be any different for the District than what has happened in the past. “I don’t know if you recall the current tourism brand, it’s the logo with the waterfall falling off. It’s going to be used in the same way. The Tumbler Ridge Global Geopark is going to have the opportunity to work with local businesses and partners to bring that out to the community by becoming Tumbler Ridge Global Geopark operators. But from the District’s point of view, nothing is going to change. From the Geopark’s point of view, they’re going to start using this to get Geopark operators and buy-in in the community.”
The District will benefit, says Wall, from the dual marketing. “We’re not going to be doubling the effort. Anytime the ATV club goes out and advertises, it’s going to be part of the Geopark. We’re going to all be working together, for probably the first time in Tumbler Ridge’s history.”
The tagline “BC’s Dirty Little Secret,” was discussed, but was not approved. Councillor Howe does not think it appropriate for a coal mining town.
The logo is getting its first stress test right now, as Council is at UBCM wearing branded shirts. “The Geopark people are also in England at the Global Geopark conference right now with a couple shirts to fly the flag,” says EDO John Powell. “It’s a bit of a trial. We’re looking for feedback from people: Like this, don’t like that, so before too long we can settle on everything.”
Powell is hoping that for next year, the branding will be everywhere. It’s already being rolled out in new advertising the District is sending out, and will hopefully be available on merchandise for sale around town. “We’re going to start bringing in the new look, and have it fully rolled out for next summer. We want it to be on all our branding, all our advertising. We are going all out with this.”
Powell says there have been some people who say the logo doesn’t work for them, but he points out it’s not for them. “It’s to appeal to an outside audience. Some people are taking this and saying ‘it doesn’t appeal to me, and I live here,’ but they’re not the target audience. It’s like a resume. Get people’s attention. And this is something that will raise the interest of our target market. It spreads attention. It’s piquing people’s interest so they want to find out more, even if it’s just to find out what a geopark is. Some people feel that to be promoting the geopark is a slight on the community but it’s not meant to be. When you think of Vegas, you think of casinos, but there’s so much more. When you think of Anaheim, you think Disneyland. But those are the anchors for those communities. They grab people’s attention, but there’s so much more. That’s what this is doing. Grabbing people’s attention.”