March 30, 2016

Olympia-Lacey-Tumwater Visitor & Convention Bureau Rebrands Thurston County; Seeks Input

Regional agency JayRay Ads & PR hired to guide brand process

Olympia-Lacey-Tumwater Visitor & Convention Bureau (OLTVCB) is working to capture the heart and soul of Thurston County to increase tourism to the region. The goal is to create a simple, aspirational and iconic brand message that connects visitors to area attractions, restaurants, retailers, hotels and events. Over the next six months, JayRay Ads & PR will guide Thurston County through a multi-phased process that includes research, outreach, messaging, brand identity and graphic design.

“A strong, regional identity will help us stimulate economic activity that benefits local government, businesses and resident alike,” said Shauna Stewart, OLTVCB executive director. “We need a brand that is authentic, up to date and represents our future.”

The first step is gathering perceptions of residents, businesses and visitors through online surveys. OLTVCB encourages anyone interested in the survey to visit and share feedback by April 4, 2016. Discussion groups and interviews with both internal and external audiences will follow.

“Branding for the VCB is about creating a sense of place,” said Kathleen Deakins, JayRay president. “It is more than a logo. It is about leveraging what is distinct about Thurston County and committing to what we will make true for visitors every time.”

“It has been about 10 years since we have taken an extensive look at the perceptions of Thurston County,” Stewart said. “This is a good time to re-evaluate how the VCB communicates about the region as a visitor destination.”

The research phase began in February. Brand messaging and identity work will start in May. By mid-summer 2016, OLTVCB will launch the brand publicly.

“Positive travel trends combined with local product development and healthy tourism funding puts this region in an incredible position to make an impact like never before,” said Stewart. 

JayRay partners with national and regional clients on branding, advertising and strategic communication programs from its office in Tacoma. Recent clients include City of Burien, City of Fife, Pierce County, University of Washington, Tacoma Public Schools and Travel Tacoma + Pierce County.