The Lake Geneva region is a storied American destination often described as “what Cape Cod is to Boston and what The Hamptons are to New York City – but for Chicago.” The highly successful Visit Lake Geneva DMO sought to refresh its brand image and proposition as a new generation of potential first-time visitors – Millennials – filled Chicago’s workforce and needed fresh reasons to consider this majestic area of lakes, resorts, historic homes and attractions for weekend getaways and vacations alike. At the same time, Lake Geneva needed to honor the special qualities that generations of families had sought since the late 1800s, and still do. The task was to make a place revered for its history relevant today – and viewed as affordable and accessible for many different types of consumers.
North Star’s qualitative and quantitative research process yielded new insights on the Lake Geneva region’s compelling differences. While there is no shortage of lakes in Wisconsin, no one lake community combines the array of legendary assets like Lake Geneva. Between its clear waters, majestic mansions, famous wooden boats and a breadth of enjoyable multi-season attractions for both entertainment and relaxation, Lake Geneva is a place of inspiring, legendary leisure. The strategy of positioning around legendary leisure allowed Lake Geneva to not only leverage its (legendary) history, but also balance the story of legendary fun and relaxation in today’s terms.
On the foundation of the “legendary leisure” DNA, North Star created an alliterative articulation of Lake Geneva’s unique place in the market: The One-Of-A-Kind Unwind. The line balances both Lake Geneva’s unmatched grandeur and its special place in peoples’ heart: the lake retreat where they go to let go, relax and be inspired. Visually, the new brand came to life with a signature nautical rope that underscores the region’s boating heritage and gives it a look all its own – while also serving as a literal symbol of unwinding. Creative and brand action ideas for the meeting planning and wedding markets were also developed.