Mermaids on the Mind

 
The original Norfolk mermaid developed in 1999.

The original Norfolk mermaid developed in 1999.

The City of Norfolk felt itself falling behind. Jobs were scarce. Home values were down. And fewer people were visiting and moving to the area than had been a decade earlier.

The updated Mermaid resulting from SIR’s brand-strategy efforts.

The updated Mermaid resulting from SIR’s brand-strategy efforts.

To assess its current image and reputation, as well as the messaging driving those place indicators, the Norfolk Tourism Research Foundation turned to SIR.

We interviewed and surveyed past and prospective visitors, residents, business owners and community stakeholders. One element we wanted to better understand was what, if anything, they thought about the countless mermaid statues and images across Norfolk. They liked it. They really liked it.

Despite the inclination by some to move on from the somewhat-cheesy mermaid, our research convinced Norfolk to more fully embrace her. From now on, Norfolk’s placemaking and place marketing initiatives will leverage this unique and ubiquitous icon to help shape the city’s story and share it with the world.


Norfolk Brand Architecture - Side 1
Norfolk Brand Architecture - Side 2

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TourismColdon Martin