By Tim Krohn
Free Press Staff Writer
MANKATO — For the past year, the Greater Mankato Convention & Visitors Bureau has been working with a consultant to define the area’s strengths in attracting visitors and developing a brand, marketing vison and fresh logo.
The new logo of a multi-colored, stylized bicycle with a “Mankato Now Playing” tagline, is “the persona of being adventurous and active yet casual and relaxed, culturally engaging and most importantly welcoming and friendly,” said Anna Thill, CVB president.
The CVB also is launching its new organizational name of Visit Mankato with the new brand. The name change has been in the works for two years, but the board decided the best time to release the name was with the brand rollout.
Board Chairman JO Bailey said, “There has been an ongoing national trend of tourism organizations straying away from the ‘Convention & Visitors Bureau’ title as it is losing relevancy and increasingly not understood by tourists.”
Outside of convention and tournament goers, target audiences will include those looking for a wellness getaway, sports fan getaway, and/or a cultural getaway. “This new brand certainly gives us a license for fun. We are excited to finally share it and start measuring the difference it makes,” Thill said.
The CVB worked with consultant, Bill Baker of Total Destination Marketing to determine the refreshed brand. Baker spent time interviewing locals, hosting community forums, conducting surveys and speaking with non-locals who work with the community to determine the essence of the community’s strengths as a leisure destination. He also conducted a competitive analysis of Greater Mankato’s biggest competitors where tourism is concerned.
He determined that the essence of Greater Mankato is trails, culture and sports. Mankato has a competitive edge because it is well rounded with opportunities to be active and it can offer robust cultural and sporting activities, Thill said.
A new website will be launched in June and a brand launch video has been produced and will be made live on Visit Mankato’s YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/user/GreaterMankato).