Our Brand, Our Message, Our Community

The words of our brand statement, the brand image and entire experience of being here are what the Town of Lake Lure and Chimney Rock Village are partnering to cultivate and promote. 

For communities that depend on tourism but also attractive to potential new residents, branding is more important than ever. 

Our society is mobile and information surrounds us. 

Where to vacation?
Where to retire? 
Where to start a new business?
Where to raise a family?

Lake Lure, Chimney Rock Village and the area Chambers of Commerce are all working together, more closely than ever, to ensure that the answers to these questions are clearly:  HERE!  

We are using the brand statement in conjunction with visual queues in our advertising and promotional materials.  The logos, colors and fonts work together to reinforce the connectedness of our communities (the bridge) and the scenic outdoors (the mountains and the lake).  In addition to promotion, our communities are also hard at work improving our offerings to fulfill our promise of an unforgettable visitor experienced and an unmatched quality of life. 

The municipal aspects of the brand implementation for Lake Lure & Chimney Rock Village continue with several projects in process each year. 

The most visible of these have been the 30 x 60 street boulevard banners that now line Chimney Rock Village and the beach alongside Lake Lure.

The 1927 Lake Lure Inn & Spa, as well as Lake Lure Tours and Lake Lure Beach have embraced the brand too. The Inn features their own boulevard banners in front of the Inn that provide a unique identity for the hotel while incorporating the brand themes.

Lake Lure Tours and Lake Lure Beach have completed a brand identity overhaul with the Town of Lake Lure to provide a fresh and consistent visual theme that gives a strong nod to the new brand.

The organizers behind one of our community's landmark festivals, the Lake Lure Arts & Crafts Festival has taken advantage of the new brand by shifting all of their  marketing materials to incorporate the brand elements. 

We have completed a  comprehensive sign inventory throughout the Town of Lake Lure, with the aim of assigning an upkeep and replacement schedule for the Town's nearly 40 types of informational, directional and regulatory signs. There are many new signs popping up throughout the community while other signs have received a much needed facelift. And in that process, numerous outdated signs have been completely removed.

One of the first signs to receive the application of the new brand  identity (pictured below) was at the entrance to Morse Park Wetlands next to Washburn Marina  

 

The two municipalities are focusing their strategies on those aspects of the new brand identity that directly relate to their areas of responsibility, things including improved and friendlier signage, way-finding, public parks, infrastructure, the lake (enjoyment and management), various aspects of the Town Center, new print and online communication pieces that will be helpful to residents and visitors, such as lake use, land use, doing business in the community, hiking and cycling.  

How Lake Lure & Chimney Rock Village Came to have a New Brand Identity

Following a six-month market assessment and branding initiative, Chimney Rock Village & Lake Lure formally adopted the study in the summer of 2013. The planning firm of Arnett-Muldrow & Associates was commissioned by the governing councils of both municipalities to facilitate the project.

In addition to Town staff, former Mayor Bob Keith and former Town Manager Chris Braund, the core planning team consisted of  Valerie Hoffman, owner of WriterWorks Communication Strategies, Lake Lure resident, Andy Bell and the late Bill Whitman, planner for Chimney Rock Village.  Andy Bell served as chairman of the town-appointed steering committee for the project. 

Well over 100 people participated in the process, whether through a focus group meeting, a public presentation, an individual interview, tracking customer zip codes, or providing personal correspondence.   

One of the most noted achievements has been  improved cross coordination with the Village of Chimney  Rock as well as a newly re-energized Chamber of Hickory Nut gorge. This level of cooperation presents a strong opportunity to market a complete message for both communities.

The project was guided by a town-appointed steering committee of representatives from Lake Lure and Chimney Rock Village along with representatives from Rutherford County government, Chimney Rock State Park and other key stakeholders.

The Impetus Behind the Project:

Several factors contributed to the need for the project. Lake Lure and Chimney Rock Village did  not have a consistent logo/marketing look in recent times, though in its history, the communities were promoted in marketing pieces designed to appeal to an affluent customer desiring a luxury destination in the North Carolina Mountains.

As the two communities emerged, each maintained a separate identity. Consequently, the two communities did little to no cooperative marketing to cross-promote their destinations even though they offer a complementary appeal.

Additionally, the developing changes with Chimney Rock State Park, the NC DOT Comprehensive Transportation Plan and the Town Center Master Plan reinforced the need for both communities to cooperatively work to improve, refine, and co-market the area as one of Western North Carolina’s most unique destinations.
 

A Few Highlights from the 2013 Study:

  • Lake Lure and Chimney Rock are projected to grow slowly over the coming years. The recommendations in the study are designed to provide ways to target desired demographics through marketing and product development.
  • Investors come to a community that has a plan and a demonstrated commitment to that plan through public infrastructure, and that stand ready to partner with the private sector to see a project come to fruition. The public-private partnership is alive and thriving in communities big and small. Lake Lure & Chimney Rock Village should explore what kind of incentives, infrastructure and other tools it will bring to the table to work with the investment community.
  • The visitor market will change as the offerings at Chimney Rock State Park continue to evolve. This represents a tremendous opportunity for both communities to cultivate the visitor who is interested in outdoor activities, heritage tourism and nature-based tourism.
  • Through the results of the project, both communities now have important and tangible tools to help craft a message that can be deployed with and through Rutherford County Tourism, the new Hickory Nut Gorge Chamber of Commerce, local businesses and community stakeholders to market the community in a cohesive way.
  • The findings represent the direct input and feedback from a broad cross section of participants – visitors, businesses, elected officials, residents, seasonal residents, young professionals, artists, tourism industry professionals and accommodations.
    Their feedback and their perspective about Lake Lure and Chimney Rock Village have provided a truly honest and open evaluation of our strengths, but also our challenges and our opportunities.

As the Brand is Implemented Over Time, It Will:

  • Reinforce the positive attributes of Lake Lure and Chimney Rock Village
  • Connect the two communities with a unified message that resonates with the local resident, visitor and future resident while preserving the identity of each community
  • Create a “toolbox” for both communities to better tell their unique and comparative stories