Importance of Brand Marketing
Through a disciplined, research-based approach to paid media, the CRVA has seen impressive perception increases and return on investment results. Of the CRVA’s 12 strategic drive-in target markets, which encompass 9.5 million households, nearly half of those have seen ‘Charlotte’ branded advertising efforts. This exposure translates to $255 million in vital visitor spending, drawing 2.3 million new visitors to Charlotte and producing $462 million in economic impact.
Targeted advertising surrounding key brand themes of culinary, outdoor recreation, diversity & inclusion and arts & culture improved potential visitors’ perceptions by 38 percent. Furthermore, the CRVA recognizes the halo effect that place branding efforts create, which generate positive perceptions related not only to tourism, but to economic development as well. The CRVA’s advertising research has shown that integrated work in paid and earned media has enhanced perceptions by nearly 100 percent related to Charlotte being an ideal place to live, retire, start a business and build a career.
In 2020, when the nation was faced with an unprecedented public health crisis, civil unrest and more unforeseen challenges, the CRVA looked to utilize its platforms to focus on how to best support Charlotte’s recovery and hospitality businesses. A range of campaigns supported this work as recovery began to take hold in summer 2021 and then gain momentum. Through spring 2022, the CRVA has generated $52.3 million in hotel revenue and 356,000 room nights booked directly attributable to recovery marketing efforts. These room nights produced powerful visitor spending that supported local businesses and kept many hospitality workers employed. As the nation continues to bounce back from the effects of the pandemic, the CRVA is committed to rebuilding Charlotte's visitor economy through marketing efforts that create critical travel demand.
About the Brand
At the heart of the 'Charlotte' brand is a brand promise. As the city has grown and come into its own, the CRVA has found the real soul of Charlotte lies in its increasingly diverse communities. The brand promise positions the CRVA and others utilizing it to tell stories through the people who are making this city and region what it is.
Ultimately, Charlotte’s brand is meant to be owned by the visitors and residents who love and advocate for this city. While the CRVA spends millions to market the Queen City annually, the true power of the brand lies with the people who embrace it. All who live and visit here are encouraged to make the brand uniquely their own and serve as passionate ambassadors who represent the “a lot” Charlotte has to offer.
Charlotte Brand Guidelines
The accompanying ‘Charlotte’ brand mark is intended to build recognition, recall and differentiation. Throughout Charlotte, the iconic crown symbol representing the Queen City is everywhere – on street signs, t-shirts, business names, local universities and even tattooed on local residents. In partnership with the City of Charlotte, the recognizable crown symbol was encapsulated into the mark in addition to the inclusion of color-blocking layers designed to create a more energetic form, representing the diversity of culture, industry and opportunity that Charlotte has to offer.
Explore the Queen City at charlottesgotalot.com
History of Place Branding
In 2017, the CRVA partnered with the City of Charlotte and other key stakeholders, including economic development partners, to design a collaborative place branding effort that would allow Charlotte’s civic influencers to share the city’s story with one voice.
Standing on the shoulders of its previous destination brand, ‘Charlotte’s got a lot,’ the CRVA launched the new place brand in February 2018, which sought to connect the audiences of visitors, residents, businesses, talent prospects and more. The brand emphasizes memorable experiences over assets, game-changing people over places, and the soul of the city over its picturesque skyline. It’s about how the people of Charlotte make you feel and celebrates a culturally diverse place where everyone has the opportunity to make Charlotte their own.
Bringing the Brand to Life
The CRVA implements a robust media mix to target its 12 strategic drive-in markets with goals to stimulate hotel bookings that generate visitor spending, enhance the perception of Charlotte across its four key brand themes, support hospitality businesses through effective marketing efforts and position the place brand to best reflect the brand promise and create brand advocates.
The four key brand themes of culinary, outdoor recreation, diversity & inclusion and arts & culture help guide brand messaging and reach target audience segments, connecting them to the people and places of Charlotte that will inspire a visit. Advertising creative looks to tell the story of these themes through a media mix that utilizes innovative, multi-pronged approaches to influence prospective travelers based on the way they consume media.
In a city where the culinary community is both close-knit and competitive, native and transplant, every meal is an exploration of the city's evolving identity.
Arts & Culture
Tapping local, national and international acts, Charlotte touts both community theater and Broadway smash hits, murals created by local artists and renowned art exhibitions.
Diversity & Inclusion
A warm and welcoming spirit is deeply rooted in Charlotte’s DNA. Charlotte’s energy and optimism have attracted a diverse community of residents and visitors alike.
Outdoor Recreation & Adventure
Charlotte greets its guests with lush landscapes, natural havens and whitewater rapids.