A destination brand is the totality of perceptions that a customer holds about a place. In essence it is the reputation of the place. Successful management of these perceptions and experiences can secure enduring benefits for both Terrebonne Parish and its customers.
Terrebonne Parish is a dynamic and unique region of Louisiana and the southern U.S. The region is often referred to as the heart of coastal Louisiana and for good reason. It is a watery wonderland with six major bayous, numerous waterways, several lakes and access to the Gulf of Mexico. This natural environment is home to one of the world's great fisheries and has attracted many cultures to the region, from the various local native tribes to the Acadians and others. Terrebonne attracts many entrepreneurs and workers to a healthy oil and gas industry that operates in the Gulf of Mexico. The environment also attracts visitors from around the world who are interested in sport fishing, bayou and swamp experiences, Cajun culture and history.
The 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was devastating to businesses in the region, especially tourism businesses, particularly those related to sport fishing. Business recovery has been slow and to address these challenges Terrebonne Parish has initiated a destination branding plan and wayfinding system. These plans are designed to assist Terrebonne Parish in gaining greater positive awareness of the destination and visitor experience.
We are living in a world that is increasingly cluttered with communication. Places of all sizes find themselves competing for prospective customers against an oversupply of options. In this overcrowded and competitive environment, brands have emerged as a destination's most valuable asset in setting itself apart from competitors.
A Terrebonne Parish Brand is important to the Parish for the following reasons:
Provides Terrebonne Parish with a fresh point of reference for identifying itself in the marketplace.
Enables Terrebonne Parish to formalize its competitive identity within the context of a brand.
Provides Terrebonne Parish with a clear vision and messaging it can convey to visitors, businesses and investors, and residents.
Provides a unifying, distinctive, focused and consistent promise that attracts visitors and businesses to the Parish.
Visitors/tourists need to know why Terrebonne Parish is unique and worth the trip.
Business needs to attract skilled labor and investment dollars.
Residents want to tell the world of their love and pride of home.
Brand familiarity is linked to favorability.
Brand strength is linked to increased consumption.
Brand knowledge reduces consumer risk and aids decision-making and preferences.
The most important criteria for a successful destination brand is to consistently deliver on the Destination Promise . Destinations that provide what their brand implies are successful because the brand is perceived as truthful. The closer the consumer's personal Terrebonne Parish experience is to what the brand message states, the stronger the brand.