A brief that entails a trip to the seaside, how fantastic, we thought as we dusted our bucket and spade off. It’s not every day we get the opportunity to create a new place and destination brand strategy and identity for a much-loved UK Seaside town.
Our objective from the client was to put Eastbourne back on the radar of the younger generations. As one of the UK’s most beautiful coastal towns, where the sea meets the rolling South Downs National Park, Eastbourne is not short of inspiration. It has been a popular destination for tourists seeking authentic British charm, stunning natural environments, a great climate, and a huge range of leisure activities, since the Victorian era.
The challenge came from Eastbourne being victim to misconceptions that it was a retirement town, which meant a decline in young people and families visiting or settling, according to research carried out by VisitEastbourne. It was clear that there was a need to construct a progressive brand for Eastbourne that elevated current perceptions.
Mr B & Friends’ CEO Simon Barbato led the brand strategy element for the project and commented: “Quite simply, Eastbourne is stunning. The environment and townscape is preserved beautifully, the culture is rich and the people are warm and welcoming. And with everything that Eastbourne has to offer from adrenaline filled experiences to the serenity of the natural landscape, it’s certainly a place for everyone. We needed to break the myth and tell this great story. Our approach is to consider where next for all of our clients. The brand strategy we created for Eastbourne does this perfectly.”
Via VisitEastbourne, we collaborated and facilitated workshops with over 35 participants representing local stakeholder groups including business, tourism, education, residents groups and local council officials. The 12 month project concluded with the development of a new brand strategy, place brand identity, tone of voice and messaging, and brand guidelines that have been rolled out into visitor guides, website, social channels, campaign assets and place branding signage.
Creative Director Kate Gorringe continues: “I’ll never forget coming out of our first brand workshop with the people of Eastbourne. We were all buzzing from the day, and as the sun was still shining – as it always seems to be in Eastbourne – we decided to take a trip up Beachy Head for an ice cream. If you’ve never been, it is simply breathtaking – a feeling which kept coming back to us. It was the seed that led to ‘Breathe it in’ – the organising thought which encapsulates the sheer beauty, serenity, adventure and excitement to be found in this surprising town.”
Annie Wills from VisitEastbourne led the project internally: “Eastbourne is the jewel in the crown of England’s beautiful South Coast, but our reputation meant that we were not reaching our potential. Our new brand gives us a strong sense of identity that communicates the civic pride that exists here. It also tells the story about Eastbourne: tranquility, excitement, entertainment and wonderful natural environment. The new brand will help us to firmly put Eastbourne on the map domestically and internationally as a hugely attractive tourism and commercial proposition.”
The rebrand has already attracted great response from the press including Design Week, Creative Pool, and the Eastbourne Herald. We look forward to seeing hoards of young families and people heading to Eastbourne to discover the attractions it has on offer.