At the meeting, members agreed that there was scope to make stronger links with local groups and individuals and to create a Facebook presence where people can find out about proposals to revitalise Minehead, see updates and discover background information as to why decisions were being made.
Therefore, it decided to strengthen and improve its contacts with the local community by establishing its own social media presence, recognising the need to reach out to residents and businesses within the resort.
The move coincides with plans to start the roll-out of the fresh new brand – Minehead Bay – that will be used to attract new visitors to the resort and encourage tourists to discover the best of Minehead’s offer and the wider area.
The term Minehead Bay will be a brand for marketing purposes – it’s not about renaming the town. The proposals are to use the term in a similar way to Torbay. That area has successfully used the brand ‘English Riviera’ for many years to describe all that there is to see and do in the wider area. It means businesses over a wider area than just Minehead can also get involved and feel part of the area’s promotion. It will be a significant change in how the area promotes itself.
The strapline ‘Discover hidden treasure’ is a call to action, inviting the visitor to find out more about both the town and its surroundings.
The branding is being adopted following consultation and market research. The plans had been widely publicised and more than 120 people attended consultation sessions with the consultants who wanted to speak to people first-hand, and explain what the brand hoped to achieve. It could potentially reach people from across the UK and beyond to see Minehead and the wider area as great place to visit. The consultants had been selected following a rigorous procurement process, and being able to demonstrate experience of previous successful tourism branding campaigns.
The new brand will be a focus to attract new visitors, and will be used on marketing tools like the new Minehead destination website currently under development and upcoming marketing campaigns.
When the CCT met on Monday it recognised that there seemed to be some confusion on what the branding exercise was setting out to achieve. Members recognised the community was not as well informed as to the context and background to this exercise as it could have been.
The CCT simply wanted to support activity to encourage more visitors to the area, and had teamed up with an independent professional marketing company to help them launch an external campaign.
“The CCT really does have the future of Minehead and its success very much at its heart,” said Cllr Roger Thomas, who chairs the Team. “We had a positive meeting to reflect on our new branding and to look at our approach as we move forward.
“We recognise that we need to do more to bring people with us, to involve them and to keep them well informed through improving the way we communicate, especially through the power of social media.”
Cllr Andrew Hadley, West Somerset Council’s Lead Member for economic regeneration, said: “As we move towards summer, we will be looking at the next phase of our overall Enterprising Minehead project.
“This will focus on the physical regeneration of the eastern end of the Esplanade. We want to make sure that people can feed into the process right from the start and bring their thoughts and ideas to the table.
“Our aim is to make Minehead a place people want to visit with their friends and families. It has so much to offer and I hope we can now move forward with our exciting plans and that the community will want to get fully and positively involved.”