Cape Girardeau, Missouri
Tourism Branding Study
For people who love to get lost -- and found -- in a good tale, Cape Girardeau is a river town flowing with stories letting you escape into the lives, loves and adventures of other people, places and times.
Nestled on the banks of the Mighty Mississippi, Cape Girardeau, Missouri boasts a rich and fascinating history centered on the river and featuring big names like Lewis and Clark, General Ulysses S. Grant and Mark Twain. But the community was struggling with how to use stories alone to sell the city to visitors. Especially since physical barriers were keeping people from connecting with the river that spawned the tales.
North Star research found that this “tell me” city could become a “show me” destination because of the “can do” attitude of the community. Realizing that their extraordinary history is their essence, residents were ready and eager to share the colorful lore of their community. Leaders and stakeholders believed in their brand and were willing to back it with relevant product and destination development. That willingness to embrace and build the brand meant that in no time at all, once-upon-a-time historic stories were translated into one-of-a-kind historical events and attractions.
The line "Where the river turns a thousand tales" is a romantic, compelling cornerstone for a brand built on the idea of the intriguing stories found in the ebb and flow, twists and turns of the mighty river. Tying all Cape Girardeau's major assets together it blends with the heritage evoked by the ship's wheel, which serves as the logo. A riverboat wheel takes center stage in the logo representing the river, its culture and the literal and figurative turning of tales.