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Marketing guru's Broads plan

PUBLISHED: 09:43 24 March 2010 | UPDATED: 17:10 30 June 2010

The Broads could be set to reach out to a new generation of holidaymakers by developing a bold new image.

In a presentation to the Broads Authority, Norwich-based brand strategy guru Simon Middleton suggested that the new brand might be well encapsulated by the slogan Britain's Magical Waterland.

The Broads could be set to reach out to a new generation of holidaymakers by developing a bold new image.

In a presentation to the Broads Authority, Norwich-based brand strategy guru Simon Middleton suggested that the new brand might be well encapsulated by the slogan Britain's Magical Waterland.

Mr Middleton, who has carried out re-branding work for such companies as British Airways, Aviva and Pret a Manger, said water was clearly the element that made the Broads brand what it was.

However, he said it needed to be presented in a certain way, and the word magical kept cropping up in his discussions with people associated with the Broads.

He said: “I would see Britain's Magical Waterland not just as a slogan but the platform behind a host of activities bringing it to life.

“One idea might be for a world-class musical festival on water with at least part of the audience on boats.

“And there could be all kinds of other activities from cultural events to food and literary festivals taking advantage of the special qualities of the different seasons on the Broads.”

Mr Middleton, who, locally, has helped the coastal village of Hemsby to reinvent itself as a former Viking settlement, is also recommending that the Broads appoints three ambassadors - a celebrity as well as a prominent businessman and local person - to help sell its special qualities.

While some doubts were expressed about the word “magical”, Broads Authority members warmly welcomed the work done so far and gave the go-ahead for more detailed brand development using European STEP Interreg funding.

Ian Russell, chairman of the Broads Tourism Forum, which has worked on the exercise in partnership with the Authority, said it was clear the Broads needed a “robust brand understood by both visitors and the people who work and live here”.

However, he cautioned that whatever was proposed needed to be carefully tested to see that it was right, and that it was important that businesses on the Broads signed up to it.

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