Every community has its challenges!
Whether you’re facing a problem that seems unresolvable or your efforts at implementing a dynamic plan stall for the tenth time, it helps to know you’re not alone. We’ve been a part of successful progress in dozens of communities. Check below for examples of how we customize plans and strategies for our clients.
Alachua County, FL (including Gainesville and 9 other communities)
THE CHALLENGE: With 10 communities, it had been difficult for the CVB to get a handle on the status of visitor experience in each town and most communities lacked a plan for enhancing their tourism potential.
Cygnet Strategies developed a tourism assessment for each community, complete with low-cost recommendations and a follow-up series of small business digital marketing workshops.
THE CHALLENGE: Attendance at Brady’s signature annual event was declining and there was no clear vision for tourism.
After conducting an assessment of the event and performing an attendee survey, Cygnet Strategies worked with the CVB over a 2-year period to significantly revamp the event, doubling both attendance and economic impact on the community.
THE CHALLENGE: The city has designated culinary and cultural districts but no strategy or action plan for developing or marketing the districts.
Before plans were created for the culinary and cultural districts, Cygnet Strategies conducted extensive research including one-on-one interviews with stakeholders, a resident survey, secret shopping and digital footprint assessments of nearly 60 businesses and organizations.
THE CHALLENGE: Develop a fledging tourism department as part of an overall plan for economic development, retention and expansion when you only have one hotel in the entire city.
Leveraging its proximity to Fort Worth, Dallas and the DFW airport, this Metroplex community of 26,000 sought ways to expand economic development and enhance its tourism experience. Cygnet Strategies created an action plan for tourism as part of a project where TIP Strategies created a broader strategic plan for economic development.
The project included:
- assessing the community
- identifying niche and broader markets
- enhancing the visitor experience
- designing a marketing approach to attract new tourism spending
- providing Southlake with a dynamic road map for success
West Yellowstone, Montana
THE CHALLENGE: Visitors are on their way into or out of Yellowstone National Park and most don’t stop to visit or spend money in this 7-block-long gateway community just outside the west entrance.
Each summer, tiny West Yellowstone watches more than half a million vehicles drive through town. All are filled with people on their way to (or exhausted after) an amazing, perhaps once-in-a-lifetime experience – how does a small town compete with that?
Cygnet Strategies teamed with the Tourism Business Improvement District and the Chamber of Commerce to assess the community from a visitor perspective. Observations and recommendations addressed everything from marketing effectiveness and product mix to customer service and improving visibility into stores and restaurants. The goal: enticing more people to stop, get out of their cars and explore.
Porter County, Indiana
THE CHALLENGE: Millions come to the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, but few spend money or travel south of the interstate to visit communities just minutes away.
Nestled along the southern shore of Lake Michigan and home to the spectacular Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Porter County hosts millions of visitors each year.
But people weren’t spending money in the area or exploring the rest of the county. They were packing up each day and heading home. Their challenge: people spend the day at the Dunes but don’t travel south to the nearby communities.
As part of a team, Vicky designed and managed a 10-day charrette process for the county and eight communities. This collaborative process resulted in an action plan that established independent brands for each community and an overall stronger positioning for the county.
Throughout the process, Vicky served as primary client liaison, managed and facilitated on-going public input and conducted necessary research. While working with steering committees in each community, Vicky crafted recommendations and implementation strategies for the eight cities and towns and contributed several additional recommendations for the county as a whole before writing the action plan’s initial draft.
THE CHALLENGE: Define an identity that sets it apart from other southern California beach communities and then maintain momentum and implement the plan.
Oxnard is home to great assets: a diverse population, temperate weather, verdant agricultural fields, a beachfront park and an architecturally appealing downtown. What it lacked was an identity that set it apart from other southern California communities with similar attributes.
As part of a team assembled for this branding, marketing and product development project, Vicky worked with the Convention and Visitors Bureau and local steering committee to create and manage a charrette process that provided a forum for the residents’ broad range of opinions and visions to be heard and discussed in an open, respectful manner. She then conducted an exhaustive research effort to test the feasibility of various suggestions about brand and product directions. Throughout, she was the primary client and public contact for the project.
Subsequently, Cygnet Strategies was hired to work with the local steering committee to create a detailed implementation plan for the project, create a new logo and style guide and assist the Convention and Visitors Bureau with a related marketing and social media plan.