Take a look at municipal tourism slogans and you’ll definitely see a common thread. Most take a similar approach and in the end they all seems unmemorable. We’re inundated with slogans that say Ontario’s (fill in the blank). Do we really need more slogans that say Small Town with the Big Heart? I’m pretty sure claims have been staked on every vegetable too.

Here’s the problem with many tourism slogans. Far too many are more about tourism departments serving their own marketing needs than about emotionally connecting with anyone. After all, a tourism promoter might say, we absolutely must have brochures that state we’re Ontario’s (fill in the blank)! The perception is that these types of slogans are all about positioning an area as unique. After all, no other place can then call itself Ontario’s (fill in the blank). Right? Perhaps. But you’re just one of a zillion places are proclaiming to be Ontario’s only something. Seriously, can you remember just five places that use this type of approach?

One example of a municipality that gets it is the District of Muskoka with its Once Discovered, Never Forgotten slogan.  It puts people first and emotionally connects with an audience. Clearly, these marketing folks have done their homework. Anyone who has visited the Muskoka area can instantly connect with this slogan. It captures a feeling and an experience that an alternative like Ontario’s Cottage Country could never do.

Next time you’re writing a slogan, think about your audience first. It’s not about you. It’s about them.