Sometimes the very nature of a place can make branding that place difficult. Take the authentic fishing village of Petersburg, Alaska. With their strong Norwegian heritage, the people of Petersburg are hardworking, modest, courageous, quiet and a bit stubborn. Combine that salty character with a couple of previous unsuccessful attempts at branding and you get a community of very reluctant marketers. How best to create an identity for this town worthy of the strong character of the people (and authentic enough to overcome anti-marketing mentalities)?
Petersburg shares many of the assets of other authentic Alaskan towns including breathtaking natural beauty, unrivaled fishing, native culture and small-town charm. What it has that no other Alaskan town can boast is a strong Norwegian culture that colors all of its other assets with the character of this fascinating heritage.
The line, “Little Norway. Big Adventure” provides a natural evolution from Alaska’s Little Norway (which the town had previously used) to a flexible line communicating the range of fun and opportunity that is distinguished by – but not limited to – the Norwegian heritage. The word adventure can be replaced with Opportunity, Fish, Fun, and others for targeted communications to different audiences.
The logo represents Petersburg’s respected, innovative, hardworking, agile fishing fleet, which is supported by some of the industry’s best processors. Like Petersburg, the hand-illustrated logo is beautiful yet pragmatic, colorful yet simple. The variety of boats and riggings reflects both the range of opportunities available in Petersburg and the individualism and independence that are prized. Ad copy features tools or items that are iconic in Petersburg drawing parallels between the characteristics of Xtra Tufs (boots) and iron fishing hooks and the nature of the community. Touches of the authentic Norwegian art form known as rosemaling (found throughout the architecture in Petersburg) add interest and color to ads, websites, etc. and subtly layer the Norwegian strategy on top of other key messages.