Tourism Branding Study
For travelers seeking a doorway into Tennessee’s rich past, Dandridge is a place where a truly historic downtown reflects a different time offering easy escape just off the interstate.
Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains have no shortage of tourism destinations, many of them focused on retail and theme parks. So how can Dandridge, TN, a tiny tourism town in the foothills with a more historic, nature-based experience (and a much smaller marketing budget) establish its space in the marketplace?
Research revealed that Dandridge has a strong sense of place. The downtown has all of its original buildings, beautifully preserved. The pristine natural beauty of the area has been protected. The people who live and work there are warm and welcoming. And the entire community has a very interesting history including the story of how former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt literally saved the town from flooding. Back in the 1930s, the original plans for the Douglas Dam would have relegated Dandridge to the bottom of what is now Douglas Lake. The citizen’s love for their hometown inspired a campaign to save it. Eleanor thought the only town in America named after the nation’s first First Lady, Martha Dandridge Washington, was worth keeping.
It was critical that the logo capture the natural beauty and authenticity of Dandridge. An illustrated drawing based on one of the community’s “million dollar views” is the perfect summation of what is so special about Dandridge. Like the community, the image is preserved in time representing the past, present and future. The line “We saved a place for you” works on two levels. A special feeling results when someone saves a place for you. A spot at the table. A seat for the show. A place in their hearts. In Dandridge it’s like an entire town saved a place just for you. First, with their warmth, their hospitality and their absolute acceptance of you as part of the “family”. And second, by preserving a heritage . . . a breathtaking natural beauty . . . that is hard to find these days.