• Destination Fiordland

Repositioning Fiordland as a destination in its own right.

Fiordland’s raw, untamed wilderness and lakeship townships of Te Anau and Manapouri has attracted visitors far and wide for decades. However, many of these visitors started and finished their visit to Fiordland in Queenstown – barely scratching the surface of what the region has to offer. This was the inspiration for Destination Fiordland, the region’s local tourism organisation, to embark on a brand refresh in late 2019 and move from their old ‘Naturally Unique’ positioning to something with more emotional connection that would inspire people to stay longer and do more in the region.

Customer insights meet in-depth tourism know-how

With a number of clients in the region as well as senior staff with in-depth RTO experience, Destination Fiordland approached Maverick Digital to lead an insight-led re-brand for the region. We partnered with New Zealand’s leading research and analytics organisation TRA in order to dive deeper into in-region sentiment via two workshops and use TRA’s cultural lens to decipher learnings that could then be embedded into a new brand story.

Maverick and TRA ran two workshops in Te Anau, as well as gathered qualitative commentary from various tourism sources within Fiordland. The dream was to pinpoint how we could ensure domestic tourists saw the region as a place that belongs to all New Zealanders to enjoy – not just international visitors – as well as uncover sentiments to help internationals see Fiordland as a multi-day destination.

Fiordland – Beyond Belief

Some of our core challenges were focused around Fiordland seeming inaccessible, untouchable and overly remote for target audiences. We had to inspire these potential guests with knowledge in a way that converted day trippers to overnight stayers, made an asset out of the region’s remoteness and  drove year-round visibility. The positioning itself had to be distinct, and be something that other regions would struggle to claim as their own.

And so ‘Beyond Belief’ was born.

Beyond Belief conveys the scale, grandeur and mind-blowing nature of the region; while also stretching to communicate the Guardianship (kaitiakitanga, conservation, pioneering people) the region is so well-known for. It also touches on the elusiveness of Fiordland – every experience is different; this is an incredibly special place in the world and guests are lucky to be able to feel and touch it for themselves.

The challenge now lies in integrating Beyond Belief into all that Fiordland does, using it to make the most of the untapped potential of domestic visitors in the short-term by positioning Te Anau as a base camp for all that the region has to offer. For international visitors in the longer term, the Beyond Belief positioning will help to open the eyes of international visitors that there’s so much more to Fiordland than just Milford Sound.

Led by Maverick Digital’s Nicole Botting – who has deep South Island RTO and tourism experience – this collaboration included a new logo design that was visually focused on the sheer scale and grandeur of the region, with strong vertical lines and tall, slim lettering. Destination Fiordland have an incredible offering, and this was a highly enjoyable project to lead and deliver on their behalf.

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