Saturday, June 25 , 2016, 4:16 am | Fair 57º

  • Follow Noozhawk on LinkedIn
  • Follow Noozhawk on Pinterest
  • Follow Noozhawk on YouTube
 
 
 
 

Business

Tourism Luncheon Marks Launch of ‘I AM Santa Barbara County’ Branding Campaign

Visit Santa Barbara, hosting its annual general meeting, designs a destination-training program for presenting a unified message

So many locals regularly talk up the Santa Barbara region that leaders in the hospitality industry have designed a training program to better prepare those delivering the message.

To be more exact, one unified — yet braggy — message highlighting the local lifestyle and economic impact of tourism.

The “I AM Santa Barbara County” program was launched Wednesday at Visit Santa Barbara’s annual general meeting and luncheon at the Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara, handily coinciding with National Travel & Tourism Week.

Visit Santa Barbara President/CEO Kathy Janega-Dykes acknowledged tourism’s contributions to the area and looked back on a year that included a major rebranding and renaming of her own organization.

One out of nine jobs in the United States depends on tourism, she said, with more than 12,000 of them in Santa Barbara.

The destination-training program will target those employees, and offer free three-hour, hands-on sessions — followed by a guided driving tour of Santa Barbara — beginning this summer.

“We want to preserve that image and preserve that reputation,” Janega-Dykes said. “Branding is all about delivering positive experiences.”

Branding was the topic of the luncheon’s keynote speech, delivered by Sasha Strauss, managing director of Innovation Protocol and a professor at UCLA and USC.

Strauss said social media and technology have transformed the branding landscape into a “new normal,” in which an audience questions everything about a brand instead of just believing advertisements. A business now has an obligation to explain its identity and why it’s important, he said.

“Whether you like branding or not, it’s here, and that’s why we should be strategic about it,” Strauss said.

He suggested that businesses or nonprofits pick a positive common topic and then establish a belief for customers by assuming nothing, empathizing, advocating, investing, teaching and caring.

The branding guru said locals should believe in where they work and live, cueing a video announcing the new local initiative.

Anyone interacting with visitors should sign up, said Jessica Dietmeyer, Visit Santa Barbara’s industry relations manager.

She said up to 40 people could attend each training, and that larger businesses could have training done on site.

“The brand of Santa Barbara is only as strong as the people who know about it and believe in it,” Dietmeyer said, noting that training would eventually expand to include information about Santa Ynez and Solvang. “This is just the beginning.”

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Reader Comments

Noozhawk's intent is not to limit the discussion of our stories but to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and must be free of profanity and abusive language and attacks.

By posting on Noozhawk, you:

» Agree to be respectful. Noozhawk encourages intelligent and impassioned discussion and debate, but now has a zero-tolerance policy for those who cannot express their opinions in a civil manner.

» Agree not to use Noozhawk’s forums for personal attacks. This includes any sort of personal attack — including, but not limited to, the people in our stories, the journalists who create these stories, fellow readers who comment on our stories, or anyone else in our community.

» Agree not to post on Noozhawk any comments that can be construed as libelous, defamatory, obscene, profane, vulgar, harmful, threatening, tortious, harassing, abusive, hateful, sexist, racially or ethnically objectionable, or that are invasive of another’s privacy.

» Agree not to post in a manner than emulates, purports or pretends to be someone else. Under no circumstances are readers posting to Noozhawk to knowingly use the name or identity of another person, whether that is another reader on this site, a public figure, celebrity, elected official or fictitious character. This also means readers will not knowingly give out any personal information of other members of these forums.

» Agree not to solicit others. You agree you will not use Noozhawk’s forums to solicit and/or advertise for personal blogs and websites, without Noozhawk’s express written approval.

Noozhawk’s management and editors, in our sole discretion, retain the right to remove individual posts or to revoke the access privileges of anyone who we believe has violated any of these terms or any other term of this agreement; however, we are under no obligation to do so.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.



Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >