By Gagandeep Ghuman
Published: April 12, 2014
Lexicographers may now have to add another synonym for epic: Squamish.
In its dictionary use, the word epic means something great and impressive. In urban slang, cool kids imbue it with an extra layer of oomph to mean something that is extremely awesome.
“World class or epic will put you on the map.” Rogers Brooks
And that, as Roger Brooks likes to say, is what we are talking about.
After scanning 1,143 surveys and six months of discussions, brand development committee is circling the word ‘epic’ to define and pitch Squamish to the world.
Branding expert Roger Brooks presented the brand direction to a small gathering of people in the Ledge Café, but prefaced it by saying that nothing has been finalised yet.
The branding mission is to elevate the desirability of Squamish over every other destination in the great Northwest. Its promise: The world’s most epic adventures can be found here.
“World class or epic will put you on the map,” he said. [manual_related_posts]
In brand formation, Brooks said the committee decided to skew the brand younger, tried to differentiate Squamish from Whistler while focussing on the smart, educated and independent people who live here.
He said what differentiates Squamish from any other place is the fact that it offers multi-sport adventures on an epic scale in close proximity to each other.
“Perhaps there is no place in North America that has all of these and equally as epic together with a five minute drive,” he said.
“We couldn’t find any place in North America where you could be on the water and scaling the Chief half an hour later.”
He admitted that the entire exercise is tourism focussed, but that was a good thing.
“Tourism is the front door for your non-economic development, everyone comes here as a visitor first,” he said.
Branding committee member Glenn Davies said Squamish needs to embrace and own the word epic.
“We are making a bold statement and we really need to claim the word epic,” Davies said.
Squamish’s logo is also being given a fresh bold look with a nod to the First Nations culture.
The tagline, too, will be changed to The Adventure Capital of Canada, removing the wordier Outdoor Recreation Capital of Canada.
A brand that calls all visitors to experience an epic adventure won’t be enough, however.
Brooks emphasised the need for a way finding and signage program for trail system and assets, a year round public market and a showcase gathering place, creative office spaces and better defined trail activities, a vibrant downtown and waterfront.