POSITIONING AND BRANDING A WILDERNESS TOURIST ATTRACTION TO MEET ALL STAKEHOLDERS OBJECTIVES

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Agnes Otjen

Keywords

Positioning and Promotion Campaign, Stakeholders, Destination Branding, Eco-tourism, Wilderness Sustainability

Abstract

The Beartooth Nature Center (BNC) is Montana’s premier wildlife education refuge. Home to over seventy wild animals unable to be returned to their natural environments after accidents or abandonment, the BNC houses mountain lions, bears, moose, bobcats, and a variety of large birds. Located in Red lodge, Montana, the northern gateway to the world- renowned Yellowstone National Park, the BNC is in a unique position to create greater awareness of important ecological and wilderness sustainability issues for. Primarily funded through donations from tourists and local residents, effective branding and marketing are crucial for its survival. This article presents a 2011 student-driven brand development and marketing campaign designed to create greater visibility and name recognition for the BNC. Using contemporary theories which emphasize the importance of including all stakeholders in the branding process, students created a brand-positioning television and targeted collateral campaign. As a result of this campaign, attendance at the BNC doubled the following summer. This case study confirms that bringing multiple stakeholders into the branding process is a highly effective way to create a powerful message for eco-tourist destinations.

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