I would like to express my dismay at the direction the community branding initiative has taken. Apparently we are now ‘The Adventure Capital of Canada’ with the corresponding tag line “the world’s most epic adventures can be found right here.”
From a marketing perspective I find the use of the word ‘adventure’ generic and vague.
In the parlance of outdoor recreation an epic is when things go wrong.
Epic on the other hand is both misused and overused. An epic is getting caught out on the Grand Wall in a rainstorm. In other words, in the parlance of outdoor recreation an epic is when things go wrong.
Put the two words together and you have a meaningless catch phrase that will inspire no one – certainly not the sort of people that Squamish currently attracts.
Squamish is many things to many people. Without doubt, it is home to a vibrant arts community. To some our industrial and working class heritage is justifiably worth celebrating.
And others tout our standing as home to a very exciting university which will continue to shape Squamish for many years to come. And all of the above are valid assertions, but it is the quality, accessibility and variety of our world class outdoor recreation that undeniably sets us apart from all other communities in Canada.
The Outdoor Recreation Capital of Canada brand is powerful, clear and unequivocal….and slowly but surely it’s working to attract and build the vibrant community we are becoming.
Regrettably the consultant hired to lead this process wanted those two words to go. His website identifies “outdoor recreation as one of the top five destination marketing words and phrases to avoid”.
I do not doubt that the branding initiative has helped define a path forward and brought together the disparate elements of our community with a common vision.
But to abandon those two words that define the most unique characteristic of this community at the insistence of someone who just doesn’t understand what we have, is patently wrong. This is a mistake and only council can undo it.