New Margs brand gets thumbs up

The thriving tourist region around Margaret River will be consolidated under a new and single brand, to be launched on Tuesday.

For more than half a century, marketing the region to tourists has been split between two tourism associations, Geographe Bay and Augusta-Margaret River. From July 1, they will come together under the Margaret River Busselton banner.

The branding, developed by Block Branding, is based on a thumbprint motif and will be “open source” so businesses across the region can adapt it to suit their own branding and include it on their packaging and marketing.

The Margaret River region attracts more than 1.1 million overnight visitors each year, who stay 4.3 million nights and spend more than $520 million.

Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association chief executive Pip Close said it was important to develop a clear brand strategy if the region was going to increase visitor numbers.

“One of the key points of difference for the Margaret River region is the diversity of experiences on offer — it’s a place where wine, food, nature, adventure and the arts come together in a way visitors can make their own,” she said. “It was essential that the brand communicated this diversity and the choice available to visitors.

“It needed to be more than a logo on a piece of paper, and something that could live and breathe in the experiences and products provided by the people of the destination.”

Block Branding creative director Mark Braddock said a new destination website, margaret, would launch alongside the new brand. A campaign will follow in the Perth market in September.

In developing the branding, Mr Braddock said it quickly became clear it had to be an abstract symbol.

“You couldn’t have a lighthouse and then throw a whale in and some grapes and so on, to try and represent the whole region,” he said.

Block won a credentials pitch against local and east coast agencies in December for the opportunity to work on the new branding. It has been a big few months for the agency, which has also picked up new clients including City of Mandurah, Demeter Wealth Creation, the Royal Agricultural Society and Open Space.