The Wisconsin Department of Tourism recently rolled-out its new winter marketing campaign, which features a mitten meant to signify the state’s unique shape. The problem is the state’s neighbor to the east, Michigan, has long been known for its distinctive, and much more accurate, mitten shape.
Tourism agencies face a difficult challenge when differentiating their destinations from the competition. And I certainly don’t envy the agency that had to brainstorm ways to encourage travelers to visit a state with an average high temperature just above freezing in December.
As with all brands, it’s vital that destinations distinguish themselves and clearly communicate the unique experiences they offer visitors. Wisconsin’s disjointed mitten doesn’t do it justice as the place for cold-loving travelers this winter. Instead, it says to me, “We’re like Michigan, but not quite as good”— not exactly a tourism-boosting tagline.