Unspoiled. Unfussy. Unexpected. This is Helena, Montana.
It’s a nuanced task creating a brand that welcomes guests while ringing true with locals. The Helena Tourism Business Improvement District (Visit Helena) wanted a brand that does both: stimulates long-term growth in tourism, workforce, and business attraction, while authentically representing the community.
As their long-time creative partner, SOVRN worked with Visit Helena to launch a comprehensive rebrand. This included a new logo mark, website redesign, video production, and every piece of collateral from digital ads to trade show booths.
Every aspect was conversation-led; by listening first to key stakeholders and community members. The result? A bold new look that is distinctly Helena, marketing materials that show off what we love about this place, and a website that’s a go-to resource for events, restaurants, outdoor activities and more. That’s something celebrated by locals and visitors alike.
Visit Helena came to us with two main challenges:
1. They had a 250-page document from a previous marketing effort, but no direction on how to activate. They looked to SOVRN to provide a go-to-market strategy and brand guide that would last for years to come.
2. They wanted a rebrand that could accomplish these three goals:
– Instill a sense of community pride and endorsement
– Promote a healthy economy, attract private investment, attract new residents and young professionals and retain key businesses
– Define how the visitor economy can be leveraged more strategically to drive sustainable growth and equitable community development
SOVRN’s first step was to synthesize the 250-page document, and turn it into an operational go-to-market strategy. This document, combined with thoughtful conversations between key stakeholders and community members, served as the guidance for the new brand.
“There were a lot of lively conversations around not just who we are, but where we’re going,” Andrea Opitz, Executive Director at the TBID, said. “We discussed Helena’s deep history to understand the foundation that got us here, while also exploring how to preserve and enhance the future.”
The resulting brand identity and collateral showcase the multi-faceted beauty of Helena— from the Last Chance Community Powwow, to gravel biking on nearby country roads, and to fly fishing the Missouri River.
The Visit Helena rebrand highlights all that Helena has to offer for tourists and locals alike. This project included:
– A complete brand identity package; new logo mark, colors and typography that integrate distinct Montana elements
– Brand launch materials including videos, social posts and press releases
– A brand anthem video featuring an original script, local talent and over 25 locations
– Website redesign with easy-to-navigate UX for tourists and locals
– Paid advertising in print and online
– All brand collateral including visitor center rack cards, trade show and event booths, new merch and more