A creative conversation between Des and Tina, Brandopia's mythical brand developers
DES: Eastbourne, the English south coast resort, is trying very hard to play down its 'blue rinse brigade' image and reputation.
TINA: Following years of positioning itself as 'The Sunshine Coast', this award-winning resort launched a poster campaign last summer asking Londoners to 'Change Your View' about Eastbourne.
DES: One of its teaser campaign posters has a picture of a palm tree on a promenade asking 'Where in the world...' the photograph had been taken?
TINA: Apart from the expected Mediterranean and Caribbean responses, sadly, for Eastbourne, many answered 'The English Riviera' which is the branded category of Torbay in Devon, whose logo and images have been featuring palm trees for yonks.
DES: Trying to change perceptions is one of the most difficult of branding challenges.
TINA: And using advertising posters to do the re-branding task is usually a marketing mission impossible.
DES: Just witness last month's national media piece on Eastbourne's 'Saga Louts' (See Footnote).
TINA: Complete with mocking nicknames such as 'God's Waiting Room.'
DES: OK Tina let's talk about how we might develop an effective brand strategy for this deserving English resort.
TINA: Often times it's better to turn the problem into a major opportunity.
DES: So instead of playing down the 'zimmer frame park' jokes and limericks, you would actually encourage them?
TINA: Not only that, but according to our blog buddy Dick Stroud, the new over-50's market is wealthier, takes multiple holidays, and buys more second homes.
DES: Dubbed the Jagger Generation after Mick Jagger - still rockin' & rollin' despite a dodgy pelvis.
TINA: From the 'blue rinsers' to the 'silver surfers', Eastbourne is perfectly positioned to build a new cultural mythology for the 'second youth' of the 1960's and 70's permissive society and flower-power generations.
DES: And with Brighton, the young, trendy, bohemian resort next door, Eastbourne is fast-becoming the natural habitat for twentysomething coasties who can't afford Brighton's booming property prices.
TINA: Bring on the Generation Game.
DES: Eastbourne can and should play a major role in bridging the so-called generation gap by campaigning on the key generational issues.
TINA: From the growing fear that seniors have with the youth of the nation to alerting thirtysomethings to the burden of credit card debt and the looming pension fund crisis.
DES: But first, Eastbourne should introduce a cultural rite of passage by presenting co-branded 50th birthday cards to the nation's celebrities, whilst celebrating locally with an annual Five-O Fest for the over-50's.
TINA: But what about The Big-Five-O's other strengths - its sizzling sunshine record and its mouthful of language schools to name just two.
DES: This is where it needs to climb the hierarchy of destinations by co-branding with its coastal and county cousins, whilst not forgetting the sub-regional and regional co-branding opportunities.
'Brand' the Marketect says:
"There is a mighty difference between (a) positioning a brand in the minds of the consumer and (b) the brand positioning the consumer in the minds of the marketplace. The latter strategy plays a powerful role in the consumer's self-identity and self-expression. So in the future, brands will need to evolve from being a mirror to becoming a megaphone for their target segment."
Some English resorts have their Lager Louts who grow up to become Saga Louts
- Over Sixty, Over-the-Top and Over Here
- Pissed-up Pensioners Prancing on the Promenade
- Dodgy Old Codgers out for a Romp with their Zimmers
Inspired by Keith Barker-Main, MetroSexual and Author of Say What? The A-Z of Smart Talk