Branding Greater Geelong

The Greater Geelong region is one of Australia's fastest-growing areas. Diverse natural and built environments and ideal geographic positioning provide its citizens with a lifestyle enviable around the world.

– Brand Strategy
– Identity Design
– Marketing Plan

Challenge

The Geelong Region had faced a torrent of change over the previous decade: The closure of major manufacturing, government decentralisation of services, political scandals, UNESCO recognition, the rise of regionalism and unprecedented population growth. With all the change afoot, the region's leaders saw an opportunity to come together under a single city brand to stand out amongst its regional rivals and step up onto the world stage.

The City of Greater Geelong and The Vision Partner's Group, a broad collaborative committee of community representatives, challenged Fluid to bring together years of qualitative and quantitative research into a single brand positioning.

Solution

Underpinned by a rigorous community vision document, Fluid reviewed over 35 research papers capturing decades of insights into the region's strengths and weaknesses, the accelerating trends and changing perspectives. Fluid used the reams of data to begin to segment audiences for the region, first by needs then by size and value.

Fluid then charted and measured the many facets of Geelong. Its built and natural environment, infrastructure, education, culture, prosperity and promotion are all factored in and compared against 100 other cities worldwide. These findings were then supplemented by insights from a range of qualitative interviews conducted by Fluid with business leaders both from the region and surrounds to begin to craft a distinctive new positioning for the area.

All findings were then summarised and refined by a series of stakeholder workshops featuring over 60 participants, conducted during the height of the COVID pandemic. Business and political leaders guided changes to critical elements of the brand's positioning, including the breadth of the geographic region the brand would represent and which audience segments would be the focus of its activity. Each stakeholder's competing interests and feedback were balanced and weighed against the research by Fluid's team to establish a brand positioning on which all attendees could align.

With brand positioning agreed upon, Fluid developed a range of visual options for how this positioning would be brought to market. The approach considered the varied views of the stakeholder groups and balanced each's needs against each other.

Fluid delivered several creative concepts which were then taken into market research where participants across Melbourne, Ballarat, Sydney, New York and Geelong were asked to provide feedback. Using a mix of quantitative and qualitative analysis the research partner Perspicacious examined the views and perspectives of all audience members whose feedback provided the evidence needed to make a final selection of the preferred creative.

Outcome

The final creative execution centred on Greater Geelong's ability to offer a greater diversity of options. Greater lifestyles. Greater access to some of the world's greatest natural assets. Greater access to greater varieties of housing including urban, suburban and regional. Greater access to world-class education, entertainment and sports. Greater community participation and local organisations with a greater vision for what their future will be.

Following a review of the final options, the Vision Partners Group adopted a singular new positioning and began the long process towards activating the new brand. Fluid set specific and measurable goals for the brand with clear key performance indicators, ensuring that the brand would work to establish the Greater Geelong region on the world stage.

Deliverables

– Brand Strategy
– Identity Design
– Marketing Plan

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