Visit Salt Lake Announces Rebrand, New Focus
20 Sep, 2021
Visit Salt Lake (VSL), in partnership with Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson, launched a new brand that will serve all of Salt Lake. This new brand, much more than just a logo change for VSL, will serve our entire destination. It is being launched to build a stronger recovery for the visitor economy and to dramatically increase tourism and convention attendance.
Extensive research showed that perceptions of our potential visitors lag way behind the reality of our destination. Salt Lake is more modern, progressive, inclusive and vibrant than travelers realize and VSL intends to showcase the story of its fresh, creative energy.
Visit Salt Lake recognizes this new brand is a key piece to our recovery. The “new visitor economy” is upon us and VSL is taking strategic steps to secure our place in it. Recently, Salt Lake has experienced a dramatic increase in leisure travel and business travel is picking up right behind it. There is a distinct opportunity to change misperceptions about Salt Lake and showcase Salt Lake’s incredible modern, fresh, vibrant destination that is truly inclusive and genuine.
“Together we’re building a stronger visitor economy that’s more resilient and more relevant to everyone,” said Kaitlin Eskelson, president & CEO of Visit Salt Lake. “We just launched a compelling new brand for our entire destination that will serve us as we rebuild and move toward a very bright future. We are passionate about our place and excited to educate would-be travelers about our secret gems.”
In nearly 40 years in business, this is the first true brand identity campaign Visit Salt Lake has entered into. The entire rebranding process has been years in the making. Visit Salt Lake had previously embarked on a research, brainstorming and fact-finding mission called Project Blueprint. The trove of data from that project was included in the new branding approach.
After a robust interviewing process a new brand agency, BVK, based in Milwaukee, was chosen for their deep expertise in repositioning and telling stories of destination marketing organizations such as VSL, high-end hotels and resorts, tour operators, attractions, airports and airlines. Ultimately, they uncovered astounding insight about Salt Lake and those who travel here.
“As partners with Visit Salt Lake, we are certain this new direction will bring great results and enable VSL to attract more conventions, leisure travelers and visitors. The size and scope of the visitor economy is substantial,” says Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson. “Salt Lake County’s $4.65 billion share of Utah’s $10.1 billion visitor economy represents Utah’s eighth largest industry and provides $1,166 tax relief to each household in Salt Lake County.”
The new “West of Conventional” brand platform recognizes that Salt Lake is the intersection of many facets, where unconventional ideas make for a better world. Here in the modern mountain hub of the west, things that wouldn’t ordinarily go together blend effortlessly, creating an eclectic and creative spirit that brings better thinking and fresh ideas to the world. Our diverse cultures, pastimes and landscapes come together here. The new salt crystal design of the logo recognizes that there are many facets of life in Salt Lake and VSL will use this visually to tell the story. The new “intersection” ad campaign will run nationally.
“BVK and Visit Salt Lake are partnering in developing a strong, sustainable and unified brand for Salt Lake. Destinations need to reimagine and restructure themselves to meet the evolving demands of not just the traveler but also the local community – those who live and work here,” said BVK SVP Brand Strategy, Stephanie Barkow. “Perceptions of Salt Lake lag way behind the realities. Here, things that shouldn’t go together miraculously do. And it fuels an environment of fresh, creative energy where unconventional thinking empowers a better way forward.”
Visit Salt Lake is a private, non-profit corporation responsible for the promotion of Salt Lake as a convention and travel destination. In partnership with Salt Lake County, Visit Salt Lake improves the area economy by attracting and providing support to conventions, leisure travelers and visitors with a strong commitment to sustainability and stewardship of the area’s natural environment. Through its sales and marketing programs, Visit Salt Lake’s impact on Salt Lake’s annual $4.5 billion visitor economy equates to $1,166 in tax relief for each household within Salt Lake County. For more information on all that Salt Lake has to offer, go to www.VisitSaltLake.com.
Press Backgrounder for Salt Lake’s New Brand
Visit Salt Lake, in partnership with Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson launched a new brand that will serve all of Salt Lake.
- This new brand is much bigger than just identity for our Visit Salt Lake.
- The new brand will serve our entire destination – all of Salt Lake
- It is being launched to build a stronger recovery for the visitor economy and to dramatically increase tourism and convention attendance.
- Visit Salt Lake partners closely with city, county, and key economic stakeholders.
- Visit Salt Lake is responsible for the promotion of Salt Lake as a convention and travel destination.
- In partnership with Salt Lake County, Visit Salt Lake works to improve the area economy by attracting and providing support to conventions, leisure travelers and visitors.
- The Salt Lake County Mayor and Council strongly supports VSL’s efforts to increase visitation and boost our economy. They funded the new Visit Salt Lake Media Center and recently provided $1 million in additional funding for Meet in Utah – incentives for group meetings and for summer leisure programs like “Salt Lake Bound = FREEdom Fond
The size and scope of the visitor economy is substantial.
- Utah’s visitor economy generates $10.1 billion.
- provides $1,166 in tax relief to each household in Salt Lake County
- Travel & tourism represent Utah’s eighth largest industry.
- Salt Lake County’s $4.65 billion share of that visitor economy represents 46% of the state’s total.
Why a New Brand Now?
- We recognize this new brand is a key piece to our recovery.
- The “new” visitor economy is upon us and we will secure our place in it.
- We are seeing a dramatic increase in leisure travel and business travel is picking back up quickly.
- We have the opportunity to change misperceptions about Salt Lake.
- We intend to show the world our incredible modern, fresh, vibrant destination that is inclusive, genuine, eclectic and intriguing.
Process and Agency
- In nearly 40 years in business, this is the first true brand identity Visit Salt Lake has undertaken.
BVK Agencybased in Milwaukee: with expertise in delivering purpose-driven travel experiences - repositioning and telling stories for:
- Direct Marketing Organizations, hotels & resorts, tour operators
- Airports, airlines High-end hotels & resorts
- Theyuncovered astounding insight about Salt Lake and those who travel here.
Traveler Perceptions for those considering Salt Lake
- Salt Lake is perceived to have natural beauty, outdoor activities and to be a safe and great place for families.
- It is NOT recognized as having a lot of entertainment options, diversity, or wide variety of cultural experiences.
- Salt Lake is more modern, progressive, inclusive and vibrant than travelers realize.
- The problem was that perceptions of our potential visors lag WAY behind the realities of our destination.
How the New Brand Benefits Salt Lake
- Helps us to attract new visitors to Salt Lake who may not have considered us before.
- We can speak in a unified voiceto our visitors
- We are creating a series of murals (10) murals by local artists in all our Salt Lake County neighborhoods - partnering with Derek Dyer and The Utah Arts Alliance.
- Scavenger hunt for locals to visit all murals and collect tokens for prizes.
- A branded Mobile Salt Cave will travel and be offered to incoming conventions
- We’ve wrapped the Visit Salt Lake Airstream and will take our story out to regional cities that are best targets for inbound visitors, local festivals and will highlight cultural stories highlighting our incredible diversity.
We are working on national campaigns with advertisements and public relation efforts.
What Does Our New Brand Say About Us?
We are … West of Conventional
People knew they loved Salt Lake but it couldn’t describe it …
Here in our modern mountain hub of the west:
- Things that wouldn’t ordinarily go together blend effortlessly here, creating an eclectic and creative spirit hat brings better thinking and fresh ideas to the world.
- Our diverse cultures, pastimes and landscapes come together here
- Kind, open-hearted locals embrace their differences and encourage new perspectives
We embrace unconventional betterment
- Progressive ideas, traditional roots and modern industries
- Pull together to make a different, better way.
Our new logo is a “salt crystal” design
- There are so many facets of Salt Lake and we’ll use this to visually tell this story
- Visit Salt Lake’s new “INTERSECTION” Campaign will begin running nationally
Salt Lake is the “meeting place” where things that shouldn’t go together miraculously do
Welcome to a place that’s west of your expectations
- The intersection of open minds and generous spirits
- Free thinkers and adventure seekers
- Lovers of arts and culture, nature and outdoors.
- They all come together in Salt Lake
- Meetings in Salt Lake feel different. Unconventional even.
- Creativity and imagination thrive here
- There’s an openness to new ideas and positive change
- Salt Lake is a hub that connects dreamers and doers
- Everyone Comes – Anything Goes
- A Place to Focus – And Lose Your Focus
- Come for the Scenery – Stay for the Scene
- One Part Breathtaking – One Part Risk Taking
- Free Will Meet Free Spirits
- Hallowed Ground Meets New Ground
- Open Minds Lead to Open Doors
- Traditional Outlooks Mingle with Progressive Ideals