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Destination Granby shoots for anti-corporate identity in marketing plan

Mock-up digital advertisements from Destination Granby's new marketing campaign feature Two Pines Supply and Grand Mountain Trading Co.
Destination Granby/Courtesy Photo

The Town of Granby wants to set itself apart from other mountain towns it considers too corporate by highlighting its independence.

“(We) are not that larger, corporate-owned resort town,” said Lauren Huber, executive director at Destination Granby. “We’re more of a small, independent, unique town, and people really are proud of that.”

Huber attended the June 13 Granby Board of Trustees meeting with Griffin Gale, a creative director at Nebraska-based Maly Marketing. Destination Granby hired Maly Marketing to create a new marketing campaign for Granby, centered around the word “independent.”



Huber said the new campaign will premiere this summer.

“This is a campaign that’s going to be rolled out in different stages over the next year,” Huber said. “You’ll start to see some ads come out already around the Fourth of July because we think Independence Day and our ‘independent’ campaign, you know, is a great time to kick it off.”



As she, Gale and others working on the project talked with community members, they found a common theme of independence in the people, the independently-owned businesses and the independent ski resort.

The mock-ups of print advertisements have what Huber described at the Board meeting as a sense of humor. One mock-up for Two Pines Supply says the store does not carry everything an REI does, but it carries things that locals need. 

“Independence makes sense when you’re tucked away in a small town at 8,000 feet in the heart of Grand County,” the mock-up reads. “You won’t find everything, but that’s kinda the point.”

Conversations Huber and others had with Granby residents inspired this voice, which stays consistent throughout the five mock-up print ads. Huber said several community members told her team they did not want to be like Summit County.

“It came from the business owners,” Huber said. “It came from the community members (talking) about the character, the community that they were looking for, and what drew them to Granby and why they stay in Granby.”

The campaign focuses on Granby’s retail stores because traditional hospitality and tourism businesses in Granby have enough customers. Gale said in his presentation that the town gets enough traffic and the campaign looks to “capture more dollars” from the people already passing through.

“It’s kind of that thought around sustainability and tourism,” Huber said. “We don’t want to overload the infrastructure that we have here, but how do we move people to where we need them to go?”

A trustee asked Gale about what demographic the campaign targets, and he said the target, rather than being based on age or economic status, consists of people who want to try something new that their friends have not done. Huber said the ads targeting this audience helps set them apart from ads for other mountain towns.

Huber hopes the town will enjoy and support the campaign. She said other stakeholders have seen the mock-ups and approved of them.

Digital ads will come out first this summer, then print ads will follow in the fall. Huber said Destination Granby hopes to put up banners, signs and other physical pieces starting this summer as well. The campaign will highlight three or four businesses at first and expand to others in the fall and winter.


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