Communication that helps mission-driven clients achieve lasting results.

 

The Montana Department of Commerce hired ENGAGE to help strengthen the Montana brand to attract high spending, low impact visitors.   While Montana was enjoying growing revenue from tourism, it was being outpaced by other Rocky Mountain States.  Montana had a seriously unfocused strategy and positioning – which included Lewis and Clark, cowboys and Indians, great outdoors, dinosaurs, Big Sky, and other regional platforms.  

Using the TrueMeaning Branding process, ENGAGE built a team of researchers and branding experts to conduct the first ever consumer research among prospective visitors to Montana, and building on the National Geographic "GeoTourism" model, created a brand strategy that leveraged the perceived strengths revealed by the research and mitigated the weaknesses.  

Because a top-down strategy would have been doomed, ENGAGE facilitated a series of workshops with a diverse range of tourism stakeholders in seven regions across Montana.  Those workshops successfully outlined the strategy, and equipped participants to adapt the strategy to their own marketing efforts, thereby leveraging the State’s investment several times over. 

Since the new strategy’s full implementation and despite the economic slowdown, Montana bed tax collections increased a whopping 45%.  From the initial engagement, ENGAGE has continued to consult to the State of Montana and present periodically at the Governor’s Conference, most recently returning to do a brand refresher workshop for the Montana Office of Tourism staff and stakeholders.