Traverse City, Michigan
Traverse City, Michigan – a classic summer lake destination – was struggling to portray its vast and varied experiences to prospective visitors in a way that worked not just during their prime summer season, but deep into the shoulder seasons and into winter. Their competitive set had effectively made Lake Michigan vacation purchasing decisions more about drive distance and price over feeling and connection. We were commissioned to change that dynamic with a new strategic platform, brand identity and advertising campaign.
OUR RESEARCH PROCESS
Our research process – consisting of 40 live stakeholder interviews, over 40 stakeholder surveys, a Portrait of American Travelers® custom subset analysis, a competitive set analysis, and both primary qualitative and quantitative traveler research – unearthed two findings that informed our strategy and set Traverse City apart from all other Lake Michigan vacation destinations. First, Traverse City brings together disparate experiences – big and small, rural and urban, fast and slow, old and young, relaxing and exciting – to create something new and wonderful. The second key finding: Traverse City has a definite feel. Visitors and residents found it warm and welcoming, harkening back to the past. The new brand platform, Come Together, brings together everything that makes a place feel comfortable and vacations feel perfect. The logo and advertising campaign, called “You’re in a Pretty Great Place,” riff on the idea of dichotomies coming together.