What’s in a name?
In the case of “Niagara” there is enormous value and global recognition.
The word Niagara is derived from the original Iroquois word “Onguiaahra” meaning “The Strait.”
But Niagara is much more than a word; it is an established worldwide brand as distinctive as Coca-Cola or iPhone. Every single MONTH, “Niagara” receives more than 5 MILLION searches from Google alone.
To millions of people, Niagara has a meaning that has surpassed the dictionary definition.
People from all over the world come to our region for a number of reasons and those visits generate significant individual meanings that are very different from one another:
- Niagara Falls is one of the most spectacular natural wonders of the world and spectators flock here to experience it for themselves
- As a noted wedding and honeymoon destination, couples associate it with romance and their beginnings
- Families have long considered the region a natural and safe place to vacation
- Wine lovers associate distinctive wines and spectacular wineries with a Niagara visit
- Foodies have a vast assortment of culinary delights that take advantage of our local growing bounty
- History buffs recognize the importance this region has in the beginning of Canada as a nation
- As the 2012 Culture Capital of Canada title suggests, Niagara has a rich history of culture and the arts
- Sports enthusiasts have a long history of enjoying boating, rowing, fishing and camping at the shores of 2 Great Lakes and numerous waterways
- Being a day trip for more than 50% of the US and Canadian population, this is an obvious weekend getaway
- As a leading producer of green energy, those with interest in sustainability initiatives are naturally drawn to the region
- Brock, Niagara College and Ridley College have led many students to make Niagara their home
- Manufacturing infrastructure, the Welland Canal, a talented workforce and close proximity to a US border make Niagara a perfect fit for innovation and industry
- Beautiful green spaces, access to water and reasonable real estate prices make Niagara an attractive place for a fulltime home or a cottage
Niagara is recognized as a worldwide brand. It is important that we remember that our definition of what Niagara is must transcend an individual municipality, a single pastime, or any one industry. Niagara is a brand and people have a relationship with any brand based off of their own personal experiences.
With our company, High Concept, we have been fortunate enough to design hundreds of marketing pieces for Disney.
The thing we learned while working closely with the Disney companies, is that even though their family of brands all have a different flavour and very different demographics, Disney recognizes that it is their focus on an excellent user experience and consistency in their core values that earns customers for life.
In Niagara, our most successful endeavours are the ones where our universal values are on display: respect for our natural landscape, events that showcase our rich cultural history and activities that represent the quality people of the region.
When you go to other world-class destinations like Las Vegas or Orlando you are almost overwhelmed by the choices available and when you go home you feel like you “leave a lot on the table.”
Niagara has a full and diverse selection at our buffet table.
As a region, to be successful, we need to showcase the whole picture, embrace our core values and commit our marketing to the goal of establishing Niagara as a destination. We are much more than any single attraction and we need to reinforce the message that you can’t do everything you want to do here in a single day, or weekend or week.
Niagara is also a world-class destination and if our visitors know everything we have to offer they will want to come back. Maybe for an extra day, another long weekend, another week of vacation or eventually to call Niagara home.
I know for Katie and I, the more we learned about the Niagara brand the more compelling the reasons were to do business and make it our home.