Setting the scene

Visit Aberdeenshire was refreshing its brand strategy. It required insight and recommendations on the development of the new brand strategy, and later, feedback on the creative communications that followed.

The context

We needed to target two key markets; UK and Germany, who were identified as the primary target visitor segments. Initially, using two online communities (one moderated in English, the other moderated in German), we needed to explore considerations of Aberdeen as a year-round destination. We assessed perceptions of different brand propositions that were in development, gauging levels of consideration, appeal, attractiveness, believability, and distinctiveness. Subsequently, we needed to provide Visit Aberdeenshire with insight into what communications and messaging appealed to visitors and why, and deliver an understanding as to which messages effectively drove perceptions of Aberdeen as a year-round visitor destination.

What we did

The online community methodology allowed us to have week-long discussions with respondents, and test / adapt images (visual stimulus). A new discussion topic was posted daily and responses were moderated by Mustard’s team of researchers. Allowing respondents time to consider their responses and upload photos and imagery, gave us a deep-level of considered feedback. Using heat mapping tools, available within our online community platform, we were able to get very specific feedback on the areas of brand concepts and messaging that drove appeal, and consideration.

The results

Through this research we were able to provide Visit Aberdeenshire with recommendations on how to shape and develop the new brand position. This research also informed the development of the marketing communications that we tested during the second phase of research. Several projects have now been delivered with Visit Aberdeenshire, combined with our work with Visit Guernsey, Tourism Australia and other tourist boards DMOs, this has provided Mustard with a detailed understanding of this market, both pre and post Covid.

The response