Challenges

Fredericksburg, a small Texas Hill Country town steeped in German heritage, has long lured tourists to enjoy the bounties of the town. Its charming downtown with historical architecture, one-of-a-kind boutiques and shopping, and a laid-back friendliness has kept visitors making return trips for decades.

But as their market aged and the offerings of the town became more sophisticated, with flourishing wineriesand upscale art, shopping and acclaimed restaurants, the the Fredericksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau realized they needed to make a shift in their brand to appeal to a younger and more affluent market. Yet still maintain their draw with the Baby Boomers who frequented the area.

Additionally, the majority of overnight visitors were still only staying for the weekend despite the abundance of attractions and activities. So there was a need to educate the market on the breadth of offerings.

Approach

The CVB underwent extensive brand awareness and perceptions study to determine if their German roots were still a large part of the draw for tourists and if their tagline, “German heritage. Texan hospitality.” still made sense as part of their brand messaging.

The Creative Noggin team analyzed the research findings and determined that while a German flavor was definitely still important, there was a need to upgrade the brand to better appeal to travelers with more spending potential.

A creative approach blended the use of original photography depicting the variety of activities available with Scherenschnitte, the German paper cutting craft that commonly uses silhouettes. Those visuals, combined with headlines that always incorporated a German word to give that German flavor, helped build the basis for the new Fredericksburg brand.

The brand was rolled out through updated print advertising, collateral, stationery, website, social media and video.

Results

Our engagement with the Fredericksburg CVB began in the midst of a recession that strongly impacted tourism dollars across the state. While other Texas towns experienced swift downturns in visitor spending or at best flatlined, Fredericksburg was one of the few towns to still maintain growth in spending during the economic downturn. Now, as we emerge from the recession, visitation in Fredericksburg continues to flourish, with website traffic and overnight visitation at an all-time high.