Survey results: SLV brand logo impact lagging

ALAMOSA– Promoters of a relatively new “brand” for the San Luis Valley learned this week that the new “San Luis Valley Colorado Genuine” logo is not being recognized as well as hoped, especially on social media.

Marketing students in the business program at Adams State University revealed survey results from a first semester project to the SLV Valley Initiative Partners (VIP) on Wednesday. The group of four students told of plans to research more data next semester to help develop a full-scale marketing plan.

The Colorado Genuine brand, created by graphic designer Rachel Maston, was chosen in a vote of about 100 SLV residents attending a meeting at ASU in April 2017. The logo features a river incorporated into the “s” of Luis, mountains, trees and the sand dunes.

ASU Associate Professor of Marketing Liz Thomas Hensley, Ph.D. introduced the marketing majors who conducted the survey; Katherine Smith, Micah Ballantyne, Jesse Klene and Kaylee Bogina.

With 47 people responding to the Survey Monkey study this past semester, 40 percent didn’t recognize the logo and only 11 percent recognized it on social media. The study suggested that more than 80 percent of respondents use social media.

Additionally, 45 percent of those surveyed are unwilling to incorporate the logo into their business. Not seeing a benefit and not knowing how to incorporate it were reasons given.

Students recommended that VIP needs to continue working on education and awareness for the brand, especially through social media. Students also suggested updates to the web site to show more of what the valley has to offer.

Thomas Hensley said she will have a student intern working on updating the web site and creating a Facebook page next semester.

The brand story on the current web site states:

“The San Luis Valley is original Colorado surrounded by majestic mountain ranges cradling the state’s most fertile valley at the headwaters of the historic Rio Grande — a spiritual center of indigenous American populations enhanced by a rich Hispano legacy; that today embraces a natural diversity of the essence of Colorado.

“The uniqueness of this high altitude 8,000 square mile region is an expansive sense of place that has abundant sunshine, open blue skies and vivid starlit nights. With our distinctive communities and supportive business environment, the valley is a journey with a destination for everyone. This big city alternative promises to be a place that awakens your potential & sustains opportunity.”

Suggestions were made to expose people to the SLV logo outside the valley, and the positive effects it could have on ASU student recruiting.

Kat Olance, president of the SLV Tourism Board, commented that the local tourism community has mixed feelings about the “Mystic San Luis Valley” regional title recently announced by the Colorado Tourism Office (CTO).

However, she said Ed Ellis, owner of the Alamosa-based Rio Grande Scenic Railroad, commented that the “mystic” title makes the SLV standout compared to the rest of the region names rolled out by the CTO.