A Campaign Like No Otter
At the 2017 annual Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference, held at the InterContinental Saint Paul Riverfront hotel, organizations from around the state were recognized at an awards banquet for their contributions to the state’s $14.4 billion travel and tourism industry. For the second year in a row Otter Tail County received a prestigious marketing award.
Each year, awards are given to recognize creative and successful tourism marketing programs by Minnesota tourism entities. For the second year in a row the Travel Marketing Award of Excellence went to Otter Tail Lakes Country Tourism for its innovative branding campaign, “Find Your Inner Otter.” The award was accepted by Nick Leonard, Otter Tail County’s Director of Tourism and Economic Development, on behalf of Otter Tail Lakes Country Tourism, Otter Tail County, and several area communities. “This award is a testament to the unprecedented collaboration and coordination occurring in our region,” says Leonard.
In 2014, Otter Tail County and Otter Tail Lakes Country Tourism partnered with the University of Minnesota Morris Center for Small Towns and Minnesota Extension to collect data on visitor perceptions of Otter Tail County. The study revealed that brand awareness was a significant challenge for Otter Tail County. More specifically, although 91% of respondents could describe characteristics of Otter Tail County, almost none could recall a regional symbol or brand.
Based on these findings, Otter Tail Lakes Country Tourism, Otter Tail County, and nearly a dozen area communities partnered to develop a distinct and memorable brand position. To do so, they contracted H2M Marketing of Fargo.
“Our ongoing partnership with H2M, the strategic and creative partner behind the campaign, continues to pay dividends. ” said Leonard. “H2M’s vision catapulted Otter Tail County into the ‘considered set’ of Minnesota vacation destinations and provided our local communities and businesses a unifying element they continue to all rally around. We look forward to continued success as we now expand the campaign to help attract workers to the region.”
According to Dan Altenbernd, COO and Partner at H2M, “We are excited to be selected again for a campaign that we are very proud of.”