Organizers want people to take the advice of the Discover Real Baraboo logo that was formed through a planned marketing campaign and took nearly two years to fully realize.
West Baraboo Village President Dave Dahlke said the work highlights a partnership among local entities that recognized a need for more visibility of the area.
“This symbolizes a cooperation effort between the chamber, the city, the downtown groups and the village to create this brand that will be instantly recognizable,” Dahkle said.
Dahlke said the groups pooled their funding, contributing $2,500 in seed money to hire Milwaukee-based marketing firm The House United for the creation of an attractive logo and to provide an action plan so organizers could fully realize their goal of spreading Baraboo tourism awareness.
It was recently jump-started again after position changes at the Baraboo Area Chamber of Commerce halted the work.
Discover Real Baraboo organizers aim to have the slogan and signage become somewhat instantly recognizable. Maybe not as expansive as “Waterpark Capital of the World” for the Wisconsin Dells, but a way to remind people regionally that Baraboo has a lot to offer, Lacey Steffes of Downtown Baraboo said Tuesday.
Steffes, owner of downtown Spa Serenity for the last 13 years, said work to organize a marketing campaign has been contemplated longer than the time it took to create the current brand. While there are brands for a multitude of local businesses, the Discover Real Baraboo logo encompasses all of them, she said.
“That brand represents all of us,” Steffes said. “It can be the vehicle to use to get people excited about Baraboo.”
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It began roughly two years ago, when the city, Downtown Baraboo Inc., the Business Improvement District, chamber of commerce and the village of West Baraboo joined forces.
Dahlke said the village became involved to be able to better use room tax funds.
“We were kind of just stuck in this rut,” he said. “We were trying to think of how to spend those dollars more effectively.”
Logos soon to be distributed throughout the local area are just part of the plan, Steffes said. Discover Real Baraboo is set to appear on regional billboards. There will be signs with the logo. Additionally, she said the city will be installing new way-finding signage downtown, upgrading older materials with a more modern and usable look. There will also be improved “gateway” signs, which are placed at the entry of communities.
The first step is to ensure that when people see the Baraboo “B,” they know what it means.
“We need to get it to, when you see it, you know what it is,” Dahlke said.
Steffes said local exposure will be the first step, “just to get people comfortable with the brand,” but the next phase will be to advertise regionally in the final quarter of the year. The aim will be to attract visitors during the fall and winter holidays.
The first year was about organizing brand materials, Steffes. In the second, the focus has been on planning implementation of the brand. In the third, she said they hope to do much of the same, but with additional funding. The group plans to apply for a Joint Effort Marketing grant through the state Department of Tourism, which reimburses a majority of marketing expenses if disbursed.
“Everyone is working toward a common goal,” Steffes said. “It’s another great way Baraboo is setting itself apart from other communities.”
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