Anderson County is a great place to visit…from relaxing, small town life surrounded by the beautiful East Tennessee mountains, lakes, and valleys to numerous adventure activities and of course the famous City of Oak Ridge (known for is high-tech laboratories and the historic development of the atomic bomb). To capitalize on these assets and further enhance tourism, the County chose Hornsby Brand Design to develop an aggressive and comprehensive branding initiative along with a full-scale, strategic marketing plan. Our plan took place in three steps: Research, Evaluation, and Planning.
Research—In this phase we gathered the most relevant information. Our research data included tourism stats and trends (working with the tourism research department at the University of TN), target demographics, a marketing audit, on-site asset evaluations, focus groups, competitive research, and targeted surveys.
Evaluation—In this next phase we interpreted, categorized, and documented the research data that helped to create strategic meaning and we identified the #1 problem as well as other areas of needed growth. We did this through “the SWOT method,” identifying Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Anderson County’s largest problem was that visitors considered it “just a pit stop” on their way to other destinations such as Knoxville, Georgia, Florida, and Sevier County, TN.
Planning—In this last phase we developed a plan of action and recommended implementation based on our evaluation. This phase included documentation of all of our findings, long-and short-term goals, brand strategy, a visionary statement, brand positioning, and a Unique Selling Proposition.
Our position for Anderson County was to make it THE adventure destination in TN within the next 10 years. With this in mind, we created targeted tactics, and a new tagline, “Take Life by the Trail.”
The road map is complete and implementation is underway. The plan has been well received and gaining traction in the market place.