One year ago, Limerick Council launched Limerick’s new branding strategy, ‘Limerick- Atlantic Edge, European Embrace’, a €1 million rebrand aimed at marketing Limerick as a place of culture, innovation and unlimited possibilities.
The rebrand was launched in late January 2020 – by March, the country was under a national lockdown.
Head of Marketing and Communications at Limerick Council, Laura Ryan, describes the struggle that the pandemic caused.
“It was all going so well! The brand was launched on 30th January 2020 and by March, Ireland was in the midst of a nationwide lockdown, a global pandemic and an economic crisis.’
“Unity was vital as we sought to protect the small businesses at the heart of our communities as the pandemic began to take hold. During lockdown, we wrote to each of the county’s 194,899 residents, to ask them to Shop Limerick and Save Livelihoods.”
“In July, we launched the Limerick 50 days of Summer competition. Working with local businesses we crafted fifty priceless Limerick edge and embrace experiences which could be won through a competition.”
“Limerick 50 days of Summer proved to be a successful initiative with over 84,000 entries into the competition,” she noted.
The pandemic affected the success of the new rebrand, with traffic to the Limerick.ie website down 9% overall on last year.
M&C Saachi were the design company behind the branding. The agency consulted with people across Limerick to design a logo with the City and County in mind.
‘It reflects both the County’s strategic location at the mouth of the River Shannon, flowing to the Atlantic, the iconic verdant landscape of Limerick. The logo is permeated by a texture derived directly from the Limerick Treaty Stone. So it’s really embedded with the DNA of Limerick.”
With foreign travel looking like it will be off the cards for another year, Limerick Council is having to focus their promotion efforts on a domestic market.
“Once the initial crisis had been averted, we needed to work together to replace international tourism revenues with a domestic push. We’re currently planning a new domestic marketing campaign to promote Limerick as a summer break destination in 2021.”
“This will be launched over the coming weeks, but it’s difficult to give a date due to restrictions” she noted.
“We’re also working hard to promote Limerick as a great place to live and work by highlighting all the positive news and investments taking place in the region.”
Despite the problems the pandemic has caused to the success of the rebranding, Ryan is confident that the crisis can be used to an advantage.
“It’s been a bit of a relentless year as we were trying to do all of this and deal with the day-to-day communications about Covid. We are working hard to use Covid as an accelerator to tell our new Limerick story as a great place to live work and visit as we plan for 2021.”
“Limerick never had a brand before, so it was important that we define ourselves as a city and county to promote the city nationally and globally as a destination for inward investment, industry, tourism, education, the arts and culture, education and for people to live and work in.”
“The brand is there to unite and amplify all the amazing things that happen in our county and help those stories to spread further and with more power.”