Australian Innovation Research Centre

Public Seminar Guy Taylor

From functional to cultural - A diagnosis of destination marketing success.

The AIRC will be hosting a public seminar on how Tasmania's Tourism strategy bucked the trends, embraced differentiation and outperformed the competition by celebrating its cultural roots. The seminar will be held on Thursday, 30th of April at the Stanley Burbury Theatre, University Centre, Sandy Bay. The presentation will begin at 6pm, followed by the opportunity for an open discussion on the subject concluding by 7.30pm. Refreshments will be provided on arrival and following the discussion.

Guy Taylor, Executive Director Marketing at Tourism Tasmania will provide the core presentation of the evening. Jonathan West, Professor of Innovation and Business Strategy from the AIRC, University of Tasmania will introduce Guy and facilitate the discussion.

Seating is limited, please secure your place as early as possible and by no later than Tuesday, 28th of April by emailing Dominique.BowenButchart@utas.edu.au

More about the topic:
Historically Tourism brands utilised functional benefits to differentiate from competitors. In the 1990's Tasmania sold 'whiter' beaches, 'cleaner' air, the 'freshest' fruit. But as the decade passed these benefits slugfests became increasingly generic - Canada, Alaska, New Zealand and Tasmania all had the 'purest water'.

Attempting to stake a claim to a fundamental need state or 'brand truth' in the consumers mind, Tourism Tas in 2002 evolved to a mindshare marketing model in lock-step with other states. Each tried to own higher order words - authentic, creative, genuine, innovative - but the statements ended up as vague abstractions that held negligible value to travellers.

In 2012 with sinking visitation Tourism Tas realised they were losing the cosmetic arms race and embarked on a re-imagining of the brand. Utilising inputs from fields as diverse as neuro-linguistics, film theory, behavioural economics, design thinking and the venture capital industry Tourism relaunched the brand as a multi-dimensional different-yet-good experience that volunteered a sense of hope whilst flaunting its troubled past. The core tenet of the ongoing evolution is the understanding that a cultural-ideology underwrites it. The 'artisanal-bohemian pilgrimage' that is driving visitation to Tasmania is little different than the cultural codes that drove Nike's success or the 'Gourmet Ghetto' of Berkeley that evolved into Starbucks. In developing and managing those 'artisanal-bohemian' cultural codes a blue ocean of destination marketing success has resulted. This is the story of that process.

More about Guy Taylor:
Guy Taylor is the Executive Director Marketing at Tourism Tasmania. He has over 25 years' experience in culture strategy, branding and organisational design. In that time Guy has contributed to the achievements of a number of Australia's most successful brands. Before founding the US offices for Blundstone in 1997 he was the co-creator of the "Who is James Boag?" campaign, widely acknowledged as the most successful premium beer brand in Australia. He has been a strategy consultant in North America, the EU and the Middle East, has written for the Age and the West Australian and been a writer in residence at Yaddo colony in New York and the Cite des Arts in Paris. Guy is the recipient of a 2013 National AMI award for marketing effectiveness and a keynote presenter on brand and culture strategy to the AICD, the CSIRO and the Australian Chambers Business Congress. Guy is an Honorary Fellow at the Australian Innovation Research Centre (AIRC).