The Delaware Tourism Office’s statewide marketing campaign is one of the two best in the nation.

That was the finding of an independent study released this fall by FutureBrand, an international brand consulting firm that has worked with companies like American Airlines, Cadillac and MasterCard.

FutureBrand asked domestic travelers for their opinion on a state, then showed them that state’s tourism marketing materials and asked again. More than half the people interviewed were more interested in visiting Delaware after seeing the brand marketing.

The tourism office launched Delaware: Endless Discoveries campaign in January 2015. Delaware’s first-ever comprehensive tourism branding effort includes a new logo, slogan, photos/videos and tone of voice to all fit a feel. FutureBrand said the focus on beach and water imagery was the right move for the state.

DTO 2017 Print AdAlso this fall DTO moved to capitalize on the success of the first two years of the new brand with what has been playfully called “Brand 2.0.” Over the course of three weeks in September, DTO captured photos and videos up and down Delaware for print, online and television advertising. Click here for information on the FY2017 media plan.

DTO’s first ads, which started running in 2015, produced spectacular results. For example, web traffic to VisitDelaware.com spiked 400 percent from the Washington DC area while the commercials were on the air.

The new photography is also heavily utilized in the new Delaware state travel guide. The guide has a focus on large, beautiful, inspirational imagery. The magazine-size book is currently in production and will be released in late spring.

Of course, successful branding is just the first step in a process essential to the state’s tourism sector. Quality branding creates better and stronger recognition for Delaware among potential travelers. That in turn leads to more visitation to the state and more money for tourism industry partners.

Delaware Tax FreeIt is easy to incorporate the brand into your business or organization’s website or marketing materials. For example, you can:
•    Download the brand tool kit
•    Incorporate the tax-free shopping button
•    Place the Endless Discoveries logo on your website and link to VisitDelaware.com
•    Integrate Endless Discoveries advertising templates into your campaigns

The most recent data on the value of tourism to Delaware shows a record number of visitors came to the state in 2015 – 8.5 million. That was in just the first year of the updated brand. New messaging takes time to have its full effect. Just imagine where things can go from here.