It’s no secret that we love Greenville, SC, so when the former Greenville Convention & Visitors Bureau approached Brains on Fire about creating a new identity for our hometown, they didn’t have to ask twice. We knew this was far more than an identity project; it was an opportunity to foster a greater sense of community within our community.
Develop a new identity for Greenville that would reflect the spirit of the people and the place.
Give people a way to celebrate their love for the city and tell the story of Greenville in their own words, experiences and photos.
Raise awareness about Greenville, SC, establishing it as a sought-after weekend tourism destination.
We quickly discovered that while Greenville, South Carolina is a gem of a destination, we weren’t going to be able to rely on name recognition alone. With 36 Greenvilles in the United States, we would need to identify that something special that really sets us apart.
Armed with moleskines, a long list of questions and plenty of coffee to go around, we accepted the challenge and dove in. We gathered with area business leaders, we polled people at local restaurants, we stopped strangers on the street. And at the end of our insight-gathering phase, it turned out we had reached pretty interesting conclusions. It has been said that happy people gather where good things are happening – and nowhere is that truer than in Greenville.
While Greenville has plenty of landmarks and treasures that make it a desirable place to visit, the conversations we had with visitors and residents revealed that the destination’s greatest draw was the people of Greenville themselves.
Realizing that most destinations present themselves in the same way, which ends up making every town look like every other town, our goal was not to create a version of Greenville as we saw it. We wanted to give people a way to share the story of the community they loved. They were already sharing stories, photos and recommendations; we wanted to give them a way and a place to share those things with others. VisitGreenvilleSC.com became the first CVB website in the United States to integrate social feed image import onto their main page, spotlighting the experiences and photos of residents and visitors.
From a Community Management perspective, our efforts have been focused on authentically celebrating, surprising, rewarding and engaging with every resident and visitor who mentions Greenville, SC on social media. The result? Thousands of conversations and shares, and a destination that has received a whole lotta love since launch.
— Jennifer Broome (@JenniferBroome) September 10, 2015
— Amy Taylor (@NoMeatballs) September 9, 2015
When comparing 2013 versus 2012 occupancy +/- rate of change performance metrics, Greenville’s positive % change in terms of occupancy growth outperformed the US, the South Atlantic region and the state of South Carolina.
Over a period of 30 days in Q4 of 2013, more than 1,000 user-generated images were uploaded to Instagram using the official hashtag #YeahTHATGreenville.
Greenville advocates have embraced the new identity by taking the official #YeahTHATGreenville hashtag and making it their own (#EatThatGreenville).
In November, the Southeast Tourism Society awarded VisitGreenvilleSC the 2013 “Shining Example” Award for Best Marketing Campaign for “Yeah, THAT Greenville.” 2013 marked the second-highest number of award entries received since the Shining Example Awards program launched in 1985.
In 2013, lifestyle publication Outside Magazine embarked on a simple mission: find America’s best place to be healthy. Inspired by Greenville’s access to outdoor recreation and high quality of life, the community pulled together and garnered Greenville the popular vote for “Best Town Ever.”
In 2014, #YeahThatGreenville took home a Gold Engagement WOMMY from the Word of Mouth Marketing Association.
Brains on Fire's sweet spot is the big idea.