The Margaret River region brand is on the agenda

The Busselton Jetty. Image supplied.
The Busselton Jetty. Image supplied.

The use of Margaret River branding throughout the Capes region is back on the agenda for the City of Busselton council.

After the amalgamation of the Geographe and Margaret River tourism bureaus in 2014, the city agreed to support ‘the Margaret River region’ as an umbrella brand for tourism and destination marketing.

Concerns have now been raised that sub-brands such as Busselton, Dunsborough and Yallingup have not been marketed as “prominently” as they should have resulting in lost awareness of these destinations.

City officers are recommending that council review its position in relation to the Margaret River region branding strategy to build awareness of Busselton Dunsborough and Yallingup.

It was noted by city officers in the report that a primary concern raised by councillors in 2014 was “the potential diminishing loss of identity of these” locations to the Margaret River region brand.

In 2014, research commissioned by Tourism WA found that the Margaret River region brand was preferable because it appealed more to interstate and international markets.

The research also found Busselton and other sub-location brand identities had lower brand recognition.

Despite the success of the branding to global markets, the decision was met with backlash from parts of the community which were in support of Busselton having its own identity separate from Margaret River.

A community survey undertaken last year found that while events were one of the city’s strengths, residents felt the city should focus on marketing Busselton itself.

Opportunities now exist for the city to promote Busselton, Dunsborough and Yallingup through marketing and events with the arrival of domestic and international flights at the airport.

City officers have recommended that council support having location-based sub-brands for events held across the region.

These could be Busselton Margaret River or Busselton Margaret River Region as a regional brand, and for international markets continue to use the Margaret River region until Busselton has more brand awareness.

Have your say: Should Busselton have its own brand for marketing opportunities or should the region continue to ride the coattails of well-known Margaret River? Email editorial.bdmail@fairfaxmedia.com.au.