Plans to rethink Skegness branding

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A FRESH approach to the town’s marketing could help boost tourism and firmly place Skegness on the map, a councillor believes.

Coun John Byford gave a presentation to members of the business community at Skegness Partnership’s gala dinner last Friday regarding the future of Skegness’s branding and how its slogan could be changed to give a modern outlook.

He spoke of the famous catch line ‘Skegness is so bracing’ and questioned if the word ‘bracing’ really reflected the customer of today and proposed the new phrase ‘Skegness - A breath of fresh air’.

Coun Byford reflected on changes in the town in the last five years, including the fire at the Grand Central complex, developments at The Village, formally Church Farm Village and the impressive work which has taken place at The Storehouse in North Parade.

“We’ve got to keep moving into the 21st century,” he said.

Talks looked at the history of marketing in the town, the creation of the Jolly Fisherman image and how the town has moved through the decades.

“The first image was produced for Penzance in 1904 for GNR and John Hassall created the Jolly Fisherman which is one of the most famous ads ever drawn and it has done us proud but it is time to bring it into the 21st century,” Coun Byford added.

Coun Byford spoke of how there have been brave moves away from the Jolly Fisherman but noted he is ‘the town mascot and not the brand’.

“Today it is different. It is not about someone with a pipe and a scarf but down to the resort to sell the town,” he explained.

Attempts to sell East Lincolnshire as a brand have been made but Coun Byford believed it was all about Skegness and ‘Skegness is the brand.’

“Everyone has heard of Skegness. What is wrong with our own advert, we are the beacon that everyone should follow, vote Skegness, that is what everyone knows,” he said.

Coun Byford then spoke about visitor brochures which are released each year, and said a move towards a ‘more Skegness-based cover’ should be the way forward.

“We’ve got to show what’s good to offer here and Skegness should be on the cover,” he added.

He concluded that everyone in the community should use a stream-lined publicity pack, with logos, free to use images and support each other for the remainder of 2012 and into 2013.