Joe D’Alessandro, San Francisco Travel president and CEO, presented the new approach to some 1,000 attendees, saying,
“A brand is more than just a logo. It’s how we see ourselves. More importantly, it’s how others see us—and how others see us is more critical than ever before….It is our most important asset, and proper management of it is key to our success.
“Regularly reassessing our brand ensures that it remains well-defined, consistent, accurate, and relevant. The nine-month process that we have just completed was not about making drastic changes but fine-tuning and updating – bringing more focus to the most important elements of the way we position the city and allowing us to speak in the most relevant way possible,” he added. The new branding was developed after extensive research and development by Miles Partnership and Destination Analysts, in partnership with San Francisco Travel.
“We wanted to be sure that our brand was reflective of the destination, that it was contemporary and understood by a global audience. And that it reminded people of the promise of San Francisco,” said San Francisco Travel Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Howard Pickett. “We started at home, interviewing members of San Francisco’s hospitality industry, our own advisory boards, local residents, and San Francisco Travel staff. We conducted focus groups with travellers and meeting planners, both here and abroad. We monitored social media, analysing trends, preconceptions, and misconceptions.”
This lead to the development of a new brand description; a narrative that defines San Francisco in an emotional, resonant way.
“We evaluated new logo designs, examining how they aligned with our brand personality and the destination, and updated our color palette and typography selections to be more evocative of the iconic visuals and distinctive character of San Francisco, said Lynn Bruni-Perkins, San Francisco Travel’s vice president of marketing communications. “We tested brand assets in 20 domestic and international markets, asking leisure and business travellers, along with meeting planners and tourism trade, to respond to them and help us place the finishing touches.”
“The result is a new and refreshed brand for San Francisco, a brand that’s bold, welcoming, and optimistic. It showcases our scenic beauty and our inner beauty. And it deeply connects visitors to their favourite destination and ours: San Francisco,” D’Alessandro said.
San Francisco Travel now has a new suite of assets, including:
• A new positioning statement: “For those who embrace the bold and seek the unexpected, San Francisco’s optimistic spirit is a constant celebration of individuality and the belief that here, in the most beautiful city in the world, all things are possible.”
• A new profile of San Francisco visitors: “Visitors to San Francisco are as diverse as San Francisco itself. Regardless of who they are or where they’re from, they share a universal love of free-spirited expression, curiosity, and adventure. They appreciate sophistication without pretension. They embrace the bold and welcome the new. And they engage in being part of change by supporting different views—even those that may vary from their own.”
• A brand description outlining San Francisco key attributes
• A new brandmark (logo)
• A new color palette
• Brand typograpy
• Brand usage guidelines
“A strong, relevant brand is critical to our success,” D’Alessandro said. “Completing this project helps us to ensure that San Francisco remains one of the top city destinations in the world – relevant, compelling and aspirational. It’s a place unlike any other and it’s our passion to promote it.”
The San Francisco Travel Association is the official destination marketing organization for the City and County of San Francisco.
Tourism, San Francisco's largest industry, generated record-breaking numbers in 2018. More than 25.8 million people visited the destination, spending in excess of $10 billion. More than 82,500 jobs are supported by tourism in San Francisco.