PHOTO: Williamson County Mayor Rogers Anderson speaks at a rebrand launch event inside the Franklin Theatre on Thursday, September 6, 2018./Brooke Wanser
By BROOKE WANSER
A group of stakeholders and local government members gathered inside the Franklin Theatre on Thursday morning for a sneak peek of the Williamson County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau new branding.
The Visit Franklin, TN Williamson County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau will reveal their new website and branding at the visitor center during Friday night’s Art Scene.
Visit Franklin’s CEO and President Ellie Westman Chin said the number one reason visitors come to Franklin is to see Main Street.
“Once they get here, we send them out, but we use Franklin as that driver to get them into our county,” she explained.
Though the proximity to Nashville helps bring in tourists, “We don’t always want our brand connected to Nashville,” Chin said. “We want Franklin to be known for Franklin.”
After introducing a “Rooted in Americana” campaign in 2016, tourism numbers have gone up, with 2017 numbers recently released.
- 1.51 million visitors, up 6 percent
- $452.59 million economic impact, up 5.9 percent
- 3,630 industry employees, up 2.5 percent
- County is ranked 6th in the state for visitor spending.
Chin noted the CVB’s overall goal, to reach two million visitors by the end of 2020; so far, the county has reached 75.5 percent of that threshold.
Visit Franklin began looking for a brand designer in the spring of 2017, said Chin, before working with GS&F, a Nashville agency, to come up with the new branding. Creating design elements took about six months.
Words Chin said the CVB always wants to be thought of included “trusted,” “modern,” and “unassuming,” and never want to be “boring,” “trendy,” or “folksy.”
The phrase, “What matters to you [the visitor] matters the most,” guided the new campaign, said Chin.
Through a mixture of photography and illustrations, done by local artist Kayla Stark, the new branding will reflect these values.
“I like that we’ve found a creative way to bring in images that any destination could brag about,” Chin said.
Chin also urged business owners to go update their information at VisitFranklin.com/Get-Listed.