Airport in Comox knows where journeys begin

Where journeys begin.
It's the new tagline for the Comox Valley Airport, which was unveiled last Thursday during a presentation on the airport's new brand.
The new tagline and a new logo were presented during the Comox Valley Airport Commission (CVAC)'s annual public meeting.

NOEMIE BESSETTE makes a presentation about the Comox Valley Airport's branding strategy.

NOEMIE BESSETTE makes a presentation about the Comox Valley Airport's branding strategy.

Where journeys begin.It’s the new tagline for the Comox Valley Airport, which was unveiled last Thursday during a presentation on the airport’s new brand.The new tagline and a new logo were presented during the Comox Valley Airport Commission (CVAC)’s annual public meeting.The new logo features the name Comox Valley Airport in layered squares that are green, blue and grey — colours meant to represent the Valley’s natural landscape. The airport’s call sign, YQQ, appears at the bottom of the logo.Noemie Bessette, account director at Cossette, has been working with Christianne Wile, CVAC’s manager of marketing and public communications, since Cossette was hired in early 2011. “A lot of people would think a brand is a new logo, but a brand is so much more than a logo,” she said. “The logo is one component of the brand. The brand is what we are as an organization, from beginning to end. It’s how we think, it’s how we act, it’s how we speak and it’s how we look. It really should reflect every part of our business, the way we run it and how the world outside of the airport experiences it.”Cossette worked with a Vancouver Island research firm, Strategic Initiatives Inc., for about two months to understand what people want and need from the Comox Valley Airport. The research process included interviewing 68 people, conducting 24 in-depth, one-on-one interviews with a variety of stakeholders and holding focus groups with the community and discussion groups with airport staff and volunteers.The new branding tries to tell the story of YQQ and the people who pass through the airport. “An airport is so much more than just steel and glass,” said Bessette. “It’s about the people who pass through the doors and their journeys made of their stories.”As she unveiled the new logo, Bessette explained that the layers and multi-dimensional shapes “create a sense of movement, meeting and connecting, that showcase our local charm in a world-class manner and draw colour inspiration from the Comox Valley landscape.”The logo design incorporates the YQQ abbreviation to raise awareness of the airport’s call sign.To contrast the professional nature of the logo, the tagline “where journeys begin” is written in handwritten script to express local charm, explained Bessette.The new branding will be rolled out gradually throughout the next year, as items such as new uniforms are needed or as new print ads are developed.Not everyone at the meeting liked the new logo.”I was really looking forward to seeing this new logo, and quite frankly, I’m very disappointed,” said Mike Gariepy. “I don’t think it is doing the job of the last logo at all. Before, it even had an aircraft visual. This one, you have to read ‘airport’ in it; it’s a box. I really can’t believe you spent that kind of money on that.”The new logo comes out of extensive research and consultation with many people, explained Wile, adding that in reviewing the airport’s brand, they discovered there were multiple logos being used within the airport itself, while other groups in the community use the CVAC acronym, and the previous tagline was also being used by the Victoria and Nanaimo airports.”We do believe our brand reflects everything our loyal travellers already know and appreciate about the airport — which is our ease of use and our caring personnel and our convenience,” she said. Bob Mortimer felt the colours in the new logo were very similar, if not exactly the same, as those used in the Vancouver International Airport (YVR)’s logo.There is blue and green in YVR’s logo, but they are different tones than those used in the new YQQ logo, noted Wile.Mortimer also wondered how the effectiveness of the new branding will be measured.The airport can measure the effectiveness of communications through website hits, media coverage and customer surveys, but a direct link with the branding is difficult to measure, explained Wile.”My overall measurement is going to be meeting the objectives in the strategic plan,” she said.writer@comoxvalleyrecord.com

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