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Vilas County

CASE STUDY: Brand Development | Digital Marketing
People paddling the waterways in Vilas County

Project Overview

Vilas County has been a popular vacation spot in northern Wisconsin for more than a century, welcoming visitors to a natural wonderland of lakes, forests, and stunning scenery. As this iconic Northwoods destination looks to the future, we’ve worked together with Vilas County and its partner organizations to create a new brand and look and brand that will help drive tourism in the years to come.  

01/
Brand Development

Strategic Planning

Years of experience

We’ve worked with Vilas County Tourism for nearly 20 years, creating everything from print ads and visitor guides to websites and robust social media accounts. We’ve held several strategic planning sessions with Vilas County over the years, and for this new brand and website, we started much the same way: by working with our stakeholders in the county to talk about their impressions of Vilas County as a travel brand and their thoughts on the future.

Surveying + Research

Hearing from visitors + others

After that, we launched an extensive research period where we identified Vilas County’s assets, surveyed visitors and potential visitors to gauge their familiarity with Vilas County and held a series of focus groups to determine the look and feel of potential new branding.

Branding

Catching Vilas Vibes

After our research was completed, our designers and content creators worked together to craft a new brand that highlighted Vilas County’s assets—notably, more than 1,300 lakes and nearly 100 multi-use trails—and appealed to a younger audience with engaging photos, bright colors, and a laid-back, inviting feel. We want visitors and potential visitors to relax in their own way in Vilas County, whether that’s hitting the trails on a snowmobile, paddling on a crystal-clear glacial lake, or sipping coffee on the deck of a Northwoods cabin. We want them to “Catch Vilas Vibes” and find their own perfectly paced vacation.

Vilas County Tourism logo
$288 million
Visitor spending in Vilas County in 2022

02/
Digital Marketing

Web Design + Development

A welcoming website

“Vilas Vibes” can be found throughout the redesigned website for Vilas County Tourism, from the bright colors and eye-catching photos to the helpful information on local trails and lakes visitors and potential visitors can find there. Visitors to the new website will find everything they need to plan a Vilas County vacation, including detailed information on the county’s trails (including a robust search function that allows them to sort by community, activity, and more); articles highlighting top options for recreation, lodging, and more; and information on Vilas County’s welcoming communities.

Vilas website being displayed on an iMac and an iPhone
80+
Number of trails featured on the new Vilas County website
App Design + Development

An updated app experience

In conjunction with the launch of the new brand and website, we also updated our existing Map It Vilas County trails app. This popular app allows users to find trails throughout Vilas County by activity (hiking, biking, paddling, ATVing/UTVing, snowmobiling, etc.), location, amenities, and more—app users can also keep track of their favorite trails, mark off ones they’ve completed, and even navigate their route without the use of a cell signal. Trail users will now find the same information on the app they can find on our website, and the app has a new look to match the “Vilas Vibes” brand.

MAp It Vilas Co app being displayed on an iPhone
50,000
Total lifetime downloads of the Map It Vilas County trails app