NB Communication took over the Promote Shetland destination marketing service in 2017, with a broad remit to promote the islands as an attractive place to live, work, study, visit and invest.
In 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic delayed or even cancelled many aspects of our planned work, we took the opportunity to focus resources on a significant and strategically important piece of work – transforming the Shetland brand.
Our Lerwick-based team led this work, with specialist input from our network of trusted experts. Together we define a modern, forward-looking brand which celebrates Shetland as the “Islands of Opportunity”.
The project resulted in a complete overhaul of all of Promote Shetland’s promotional assets to reflect the new brand direction, enabling us to better tell Shetland's compelling story.
The existing Shetland brand guidance, including the “Pride of Place” brand marque, had been in use for well over 10 years when we took over the Promote Shetland contract in 2017. Although it was a strong piece of work when launched, it had dated and was no longer aligned with Shetland’s situation and aspirations. We identified a clear opportunity to redefine the Shetland brand to better capture what makes the islands different.
We sought to capture a bold, ambitious image of Shetland to positively influence perceptions of the place, all the while keeping everything grounded in reality.
A key challenge was to ensure that the new brand direction was relevant to a wide range of relevant audiences including potential new residents, workers, students, tourists, and investors. Another important audience is existing Shetland residents who have a huge role to play in unlocking the immense potential within our communities.
NB pulled together an experienced team to oversee the rebranding exercise. With a mix of in-house staff and trusted partners we were able to draw on a wide range of expertise.
We held workshops to explore what makes Shetland distinct, and to consider options for how the islands could and should be presented to the world.
Following on from this initial strategic work our design team created eye-catching visual ideas to capture the bold new direction for Shetland’s.
NB’s work on the Islands of Opportunity brand saw the development of a whole suite of new assets, specifically designed to demonstrate Shetland’s natural beauty, welcoming communities, positive outlook, and abundant untapped potential.