STRUCK and SMARI worked with Experience Scottsdale to conduct a thorough review of the brand, which included extensive research to assess Scottsdale’s position in the marketplace and identify the best way to re-brand the destination.
STRUCK and SMARI gathered feedback from key tourism stakeholders, previous visitors, and potential visitors to better understand brand awareness and perceptions of Scottsdale. Based on the findings, STRUCK created a new brand platform and advertising campaign for Scottsdale.
In order to dispel all personal bias and opinion and instead focus on customer motivations, STRUCK and SMARI used consumer testing to measure how Scottsdale’s new brand platform and advertising resonated.
Phase 1 – Brand Position & Logos
A total of 908 online surveys were completed in August 2015. Respondents had to travel regularly and fit the household income profile provided by Experience Scottsdale. The surveys were completed by respondents in the Southwest, Midwest and East Cost with one-third of respondents coming from each geographic area. The sample also was evenly distributed amongst the following age groups: 18-34 years old, 35-54 years old, and 55+ years old.
Brand Positioning Statement
- “Scottsdale’s desert location and stirring beauty offer our visitors a getaway that promises relaxation, excitement and discovery. A trip to Scottsdale leaves our visitors feeling effortlessly revitalized.”
- Reactions to the positioning statement were positive, with 59% favorable, 34% neutral and almost no negative reactions.
- The statement strongly communicates beauty, relaxation and revitalization; it is weaker in communicating excitement and sophistication, which can be resolved via visuals in advertising creative.
- It generally fits people’s perceptions of Scottsdale – especially among those who have visited previously.
- The statement makes people want to learn more about the destination.
Experience Scottsdale’s previous logo and three additional options were shared with respondents.
- The selected agave logo was the first choice for nearly two-thirds of the respondents and was most favored regardless of age, geography, or familiarity with the destination.
- The agave received the highest ratings for conveying key messages of unique beauty and sophistication.
- The positioning statement’s ratings indicate that it is strong enough to serve as the basis for successful advertising that positively impacts visitation.
- STRUCK and SMARI concluded that it is critical to convey a sense of excitement in the product, images and details within the new advertising campaign. Showing the unique beauty of the destination also is important, as well as reinforcing the effortless revitalization that Scottsdale can deliver.
Phase 2 – Advertising Creative
Similar to the first phase of testing, a total of 909 online surveys were completed in May 2016. Respondents had to travel regularly and fit the household income profile provided by Experience Scottsdale. The surveys were completed by respondents in the Southwest, Midwest and East Cost with one-third of respondents coming from each geographic area. The sample also was evenly distributed amongst the following age groups: 18-34 years old, 35-54 years old, and 55+ years old.
- After seeing the print ads, travelers’ interest in visiting Scottsdale increased by 25%. This bump is higher than what’s generally seen in creative testing for destination marketing organizations.
- The campaign positively impacts image attributes of the destination. After seeing the ads, respondents said the destination is exciting, has a wide variety of things to see and do, is a great place for outdoor recreation, has a lively entertainment and nightlife scene, is inspiring and energizing, and is a fun place to visit.
- The TV commercial has wide appeal and is motivating to all groups.
The results of Phase 1 and Phase 2 testing were considered in the development of the ad refresh that was unveiled in October 2019.