Every UK destination has something that sets it apart. For some areas, a variety of amenities make them excellent tourist destinations; for others, it is the natural beauty of the region. Whether your destination is a large city like London or the smallest country village, there is something that makes it unique. The most important part of destination branding is discovering what sets the destination apart. This distinction is then made the focus of the destination brand.
Harlow, an Essex town, is one destination that has embraced what sets them apart. Although Harlow is a small town, don’t let that fool you. They are known as the globe’s first ‘sculpture town’ due to the many works of art on the town streets. In fact, they are in the running for a prestigious UK prize for the arts, running against notable competitors such as London.
Two works of art have recently been added to the town’s collection, including Sophrosyne by Ekkehard Attenburger and Methuselah by Nick Turvey. These sculptures have been nominated for the prestigious Marsh Award, which is a prize given to the best public sculpture in the UK. These join numerous sculptures in giving Harlow its unique destination brand. In fact, Harlow’s sculpture as a whole has been nominated for a Marsh Award. Winning this award would add to Harlow’s reputation as a sculpture town.
One of the interesting (and rather unfortunate) things about this sculpture town brand is that the logo for the town includes no sculptures and not even a hint of the very important factor that sets Harlow apart as a destination brand. It is crucial that a destination logo be a representative of that area’s brand. In this case, the town logo design features a rather generic skyline and images that make the area appear to be just another small Essex town, with no indication of its artistic presence.
However, destination brands take time to develop and perfect, so there is a good chance that a new visual identity (including a logo design) is in the works for Harlow. With new neighbourhoods popping up all around the town centre, all of them with sculptures and other public art planned as part of the area, it is easy to see that this town is growing and determined to make art a part of its growth. The town has even developed a committee dedicated to planning and maintaining the town’s sculptures.
What makes your business unique? As we can see from Harlow’s example, it is crucial not only to identify what differentiates you from the competition, but also to ensure that your business’s visual identity and logo design portray this. Branding has quickly become a necessity in modern times, and indeed this one element can make the difference between success and failure. A half-hearted logo design (like the one belonging to the town of Harlow) does nothing to build a brand. Only a professionally designed logo will build your brand and represent you well.