Mt Buller

Helping a mountain reach its peak

When Grollo and the ARMB (Alpine Resort Management Board) appointed Traffic in 2007, Mt Buller was in serious decline. It was perceived as a crowded party mountain lacking challenging ski runs and an exciting customer experience. Traffic conducted on site and off site audits, as well as qualitative and quantitative research, and recommended a complete rebrand with a commercial and cultural transformation. Like all Traffic brand transformations the project began with strategy. Mt Buller is closer to Melbourne than its main rivals, Falls Creek & Mt Hotham, and did in fact have black runs and facilities that ski enthusiasts of every level would enjoy. Our challenge was not only to communicate this to a local market, but also position Mt Buller as an ‘international’ mountain in both image and experience.

To resolve the issue, we designed a new logotype and created a new line that was centre stage on all communications – “Be on top of the world”. The new brand identity was rolled out across the entire mountain including signage, uniforms, vehicles, lifts etc. Grollo and ARMB embarked on a program of upgrading all facilities and new training programs for staff at every level. To ensure successful adoption, the new brand concept was sold into the mountain community prior to launch so local residents ensured visitors would be welcomed in a way that made them feel ‘on top of the world’. A multi media campaign based on ‘time and place’ resonated with all target audiences (families, enthusiasts and learners) who were seeking to create lasting memories on the mountain.

The results were phenomenal. Attendances increased 29% in the first year. The rebranded and reinvented Mt Buller image soared and the ‘Be on top of the world’ concept resonated locally and globally with ‘real’ skiers and tourists alike. Overseas visitors to Mt Buller were a bonus as the campaign was run in emerging markets including China, India and the Middle East. The real strength of the Traffic branding strategy for Mt Buller is that it can be easily adapted to the winter and summer market ensuring the mountain is profitable all year round. The brand now rightly takes its place as a preferred ski destination for ‘real skiers’ and tourists in Australia.

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