This is where you get to have your say – click on the comment link directly above and/or vote in the right hand column. At the end of the day, it’s your opinion that counts.
It’s not often that one comes across a truly great idea and this just has to be one of those times. Mel Miller’s concept for Iconic Cape Town really hits the nail right on the head. No single phrase captures the essence of Cape Town better.
“Cape Town is the brand,” says Mel. “What Cape Town represents – what it has to offer and what it is known for – needs to be communicated instantly and effectively. The brand message needs to do that.
“We have so many memorable, recognisable and revered icons, it makes complete sense to capitalise on them. As a collective then, we can make one crisp, concise promise – ICONIC CAPE TOWN.” (The issue is not about logos, slogans or complex strategies.) It’s about simplicity of communication – “iconic” being the language and experience of our customers. (Operators at the rock face of tourism confirm this to be true. It’s the conversation they have with visitors daily.)
To South Africans outside Cape Town who ask, “how can a strong Brand Cape Town benefit me?”, the answer is simple. Do you think Sydney’s strong brand benefits Australia, or London’s strong brand benefits Britain? Of course they do!
- CapeInfo set about testing the brand message by updating its “Introduction to Cape Town” page. ICONIC CAPE TOWN is a powerful statement, a promise and, when one explores it fully, has the legs to carry Cape Town to its unique position on the world stage. It works at a generic and a product level. Do visit the new, surprising and inspiring “Introduction to Cape Town” page. It says it all but can grow to encompass much more.
- And if you want to read about how the concept came about and why it’s being launched like this, click here.
What does ‘Iconic’ mean?
Of, relating to, or having the character of an icon (an adjective)
What is the definition of ‘Icon’ (also i·kon):
- An image; a representation.
- An important and enduring symbol: “Table Mountain is one of the world’s global icons.”
- One who is the object of great attention and devotion; an idol
- Landmark moments in time, eg, iconic moments – public and personal: “Nelson Mandela’s release from prison and his first speech from City Hall; the world’s first heart transplant at Groote Schuur hospital.”
“Iconic” is rich with meaning, not just visual. One of Cape Town’s greatest icons is not primarily visual at all. Robben Island should be deeply ingrained in Cape Town’s brand message with its iconic symbolism of “a triumph of the human spirit against the forces of evil, a triumph of wisdom and largeness of spirit against small minds and pettiness; a triumph of courage and determination over human frailty and weakness.”
Mariëtte du Toit-Helmbold, CEO of Cape Town Tourism, said: “It was clear that although Cape Town ranks among the top city destinations of the world, its brand image is fragmented, misunderstood and diluted.
“Countries, regions, states and cities, like large corporations, have begun rising to the challenge of communicating with power and persuasiveness. Furthermore, famous and successful cities are usually associated in people’s minds with a single quality, promise, attribute or story. The competition amongst travel destinations is tougher than ever before. We cannot afford not to put out a confident and powerful brand message out to the world.”
Getting the public involved in the branding debate has been enthusiastically received by Mariëtte du Toit-Helmbold, CEO of Cape Town Tourism:
“I love Iconic Cape Town. It is simple, but powerful and tells the story of our city. Iconic Cape Town captures the diversity, richness, beauty, history and complexity of Cape Town. But for a brand message to be trully effective and real, it must be embraced, shared and lived by the people of the city. If not, it is reduced to a meaningless strap line without soul. Cape Town Tourism looks forward to being part of the process and hearing what our fellow Capetonians have to say.”
Comments from outside Cape Town are as important – that’s where the brand really has to work.