A work in progress. The identity of a destination isn’t stagnant; it’s an ever-evolving work in progress. But what happens if change is slowly moving a city away from the brand that has defined it? Such was the case with Kirkland, Washington. This charming town, hugging the shore of Lake Washington, has a proud history as an arts enclave. Its quaint downtown features numerous galleries, its festivals and events celebrate the arts and its streets and parks are punctuated by public art. But time and the economy have caused some of the galleries to close and new attractions and retail options are broadening Kirkland’s appeal to visitors. Unsure of their current visitor profile and the direction of their identity, stakeholders underwent a brand initiative to put things into perspective.
North Star research revealed that insiders and outsiders still think of Kirkland as an artsy city. And many residents love the art association and don’t want to abandon it. But an even more prominent association is the destination’s relationship with Lake Washington. In fact, Kirkland offers visitors more access to this beautiful body of water than any other area community. And savvy city planners have designed a community made for walking. So visitors have the added attraction of being able to stroll from shop to shop, amble through the art or wander by the water.
North Star recommended a brand that bridges the art and the water, offering endless flexibility for the future of the city. “The water will always be there and always be special and spectacular,” says Don McEachern, CEO of North Star. “But art is so intertwined with this city’s essence that it must be recognized. The key was to develop a brand that acknowledges the symbiotic relationship of both Kirkland’s art and water but paves the way for a relevant brand regardless of whether art remains prominent.”
North Star recommended positioning Kirkland as a destination for those seeking a quaint, upscale getaway where premier access to Lake Washington and an imminent walk-ability add radiance and reflection to distinct experiences and expressions.
Anchored by the strapline, “Water Colors Everything,” the brand identity for Kirkland features creative that embodies the water and is – by its very nature – a work of art.
One of the ways North Star brings your destination brand to life is with a Brand Identity package, which is the creative representation of your identity. Creative goodies include recommendations for a logo, strap line, color palette, print ads, outdoor boards, t-shirts, websites and more! (Note: The “initial concept” is North Star’s recommendation. As our client’s destination brand implementation progresses we will provide their “evolution of the idea”!)