When the Love Kintyre project first started out, we were initially focused on improving the branding and marketing of local craft producers – looking at how they were positioned so that they could move up the value chain. Based upon the feedback we received from consultation with over thirty local businesses, we turned our attention to the wider issues within destination marketing. The “ah-ha” moment came when we realised that we were really looking at the same problem from different ends – and so from there we developed our mission and five operating principles which would drive everything we do.
Our mission is to promote and market the Kintyre peninsula as a disctinct tourist destination, a hub for music and culture, and an artisan craft producer through collaboration, the creation of a strong brand identity and the development of a sustainable business model.
Our mantra is “Like Scotland? Love Kintyre!” – a respectful nod to the fact that the vast majority of people that are already choosing Scotland as a travel destination or a source of arts, crafts or produce have probably never visited or otherwise enjoyed Kintyre.
Collaboration – since the establishment of official destination marketing channels in Argyll, there has been an explosion of non-affiliated marketing groups and initiatives across the peninsula. Gigha now has a marketing group, Tarbert has at least five, and even Clachan recently launched its own website. Whilst no one brand stands out – collectively these groups and local businesses outgun all of the official digital marketing including Explore Argyll, Explore Kintyre and Wild About Argyll by 23:1. Furthermore, all of these groups also outgun Visit Scotland’s referrals by over seven times*. Working positively with willing and successful local groups isn’t optional.
Identity – In March 2016, Nick Ferguson – CEO of BSkyB – described the marketing and branding across Argyll as ‘sub par’. The creation of a strong brand – distinctive and separate to Argyll – is a critical part of the mission.
Sustainability – previous initiatives have come and gone because they have not been financially viable from day one. Quite often they are run by local destination owners without any marketing background or experience – and, of course, a day job to do. Love Kintyre’s founder has 25 years of digital marketing experience – much of the last 15 years working with major retailers, manufacturers and brands on projects right across Europe and the Far East – and is fully dedicated to the Love Kintyre programme.
Our operating principles
These five key principles reflect our core values – and are designed to dovetail with the needs of visitors and buyers alike:
1. Be insightful
Investigate, curate and share evidence-based research to help local businesses better understand their customers and their needs and wants.
2. Be inspiring
Communicate high-level messages that inspire visitors and help them to discover Kintyre as a distinct tourist destination, a hub for music and culture, and an artisan craft producer within the wider context of Argyll and Scotland.
3. Be connecting
Help facilitate the communication between local businesses, their customers, and their friends and families; campaign for better infrastructure and communications; support the training of local businesses in the first principles of social media and how they apply right here in Kintyre – not on how a particular social media model might work for businesses based in Glasgow.
4. Be impactful
Focus on sustainability over quick-wins and quality over quantity; be as hands-on with local businesses to support their marketing needs as they require us to be; work with not against any and all local marketing organisations.
5. Be innovative
Don’t walk the well-trodden path; take heed of all of the information we’re disseminating and act upon it in our own operations rather than taking the easy option.
Love Kintyre is a registered UK trademark, protecting the businesses and brands that use it.
*Figures correct as of September 2017