Random confession: I absolutely love cows.
So when I stayed at a family-owned gite (bed and breakfast) along the Gaspé coast of Quebec and discovered it was also a cattle farm, I was absolutely in my glee.
But what the hell does this have to do with marketing?
In February 2020, I spent four days travelling up and down the coast of Gaspé Bay. Rogue Penguin was invited to do some visioning sessions and get to know the area before creating a new brand for a tourism-based social enterprise.
The English-speaking inhabitants along the Gaspé coast are the minority in Quebec region and the communities along the coast are supported by CASA: The Committee for Anglophone Social Action. This group and the community they brought together for focus groups were some of the most amazing people who offered so much hospitality and kindness (which says a lot coming from someone familiar with our reputation for hospitality here in Newfoundland). They fed me and toured me along the coast, and when a snowstorm hit, they drove me to a different airport - in New Brunswick - so I could catch my flight home, where all I heard about was this scary new flu.
The good news? When I got home, I had 14 days in isolation to write their strategic planning document. The bad news? On day 15, Newfoundland went into lockdown … but that’s a story for another day.
Falling in Love with Gaspé
I’d never been to this particular area of Quebec, but it immediately reminded me of home. It was a place where community came first and you’re never far from the forest or the ocean.
CASA was creating a new story to highlight the incredible tourism operators in the area and encourage new visitors to explore, eat, and stay.
I learned so much about what makes the area unique. Between breathtaking drives and educational museum visits, everyone was thrilled to share their way of life and shed light on an area many people haven’t heard of. With my in-depth visioning document in hand, Rogue was eager to get to the drawing board and start creating the new brand.
When it’s Right, it’s Right
With visions of friendly strangers, beautiful landscapes, and the world’s cutest cows fresh in my mind, it didn’t take long to come up with plenty of name and logo ideas. And the time I’d spent getting to know these incredible folks really paid off: when we presented our 30 or so name ideas, they instantly chose The Gaspesian Way.
Then, when we unveiled six of our ideas for a new logo, they chose one on the spot!
And just like that, The Gaspesian Way was Quebec’s newest tourism hotspot.
Moving Forward with New Friends
The Gaspesian Way’s new website proudly showcases dozens of local tourism operators. Anyone interested in visiting the area can find exciting meals, local festivals, accommodations, art, and more.
And while the new brand has been an incredible success and we’ve finished making their new assets including branded tents, banners, and tons of other collateral, we’re pleased to say we’ve made lasting relationships and friendships with the people who live and work there. It’s even been a springboard to working with other Quebec organizations.
Building a Bright Future
We've always prided ourselves on working with organizations and brands working for the greater good of their communities and this project was no different. Helping the people of this amazing region to bring some beauty, credibility, and focus to their tourism operations was an absolute pleasure and we hope to continue working with the CASA team in the future!
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