With cross-border shopping, e-commerce (with pick-up in Point Roberts), and the inevitable development of a nearby megamall, the businesses within Tsawwassen were feeling challenged. Especially since the community did not have any established image or brand recognition that they could fall back on.

According to research, a large majority of non-residents perceived Tsawwassen as simply a ferry terminal and knew very little of the community or what it offered.

In a bid to make Tsawwassen more appealing to locals and visitors alike, the BIA decided to be more proactive when it came to marketing the community and raising its profile. In fact, they contacted Brandspank to build a website—to tell the Tsawwassen story.
We proposed that Tsawwassen first re-brand itself before taking on any of the promotional initiatives they had initially identified (i.e. website, advertising, etc). As part of the re-branding, the goal was to identify and establish an image that the community could own. This was achieved through a collaborative planning process that involved a series of working sessions with the executive board of the Tsawwassen BIA.

Our plan consisted of developing a relevant and own-able position for the community, doing the initial branding and marketing 'heavy lifting' (i.e. website, corporate ID, advertising), and also establishing a legacy piece that the BIA and its individual merchants could use on their own for future initiatives.
First and foremost, the strategic planning & positioning along with the subsequent marketing initiatives & recommendations have all been unanimously endorsed by the executives of the BIA.

Shortly after the initial re-branding, the community was featured in various media publications. The new logo and branding elements have already been successfully incorporated into community events, and embraced by the rest of the BIA membership.

Local municipal departments & councils have also taken notice and have inquired about how they can incorporate the new branding & positioning into their own signage.

Strategic planning: BrandPlan Development

Through a collaborative strategic planning process with the TBIA, we created a customized BrandPlan™—a user-friendly, branding document that can serve as a blueprint for all future marketing efforts.

Two of the main components of the BrandPlan are: a) the Brand Platform; and b) the Brand Persona.

Strategic planning: Brand Platform

Also known as the 'position', it's how the brand wishes to be perceived. For Tsawwassen, we identified its Brand Platform to be 'The Family Friendly Beach Community'.

The platform was guided by words used, by locals, to describe the community: sunny; friendly; beachy, family-oriented; laid-back.

Strategic planning: Brand Persona

This is a character composite based on the brand's strengths, values and aspirations, as well as perceptions held by various publics; it's the personality of the brand.

For Tsawwassen, we identified and developed 'The Friendly Local' persona.

By playing the part of the 'The Friendly Local', the various brand ambassadors will help the community take ownership of their Brand Platform.

Website Development

As the hub of all the marketing efforts, the website was the first tactic we developed—after completing the strategic planning.

Instead of simply designing a site that primarily pushes the individual businesses, we employed a strategy that was more in-keeping with the tourism industry. As such, we presented Tsawwassen as a travel destination that just happened to have a business community.

The goal of the Tsawwassen website was two-fold: 1) encourage more people to visit; and 2) encourage residents to spend more time & money locally.

Website: Connecting With Visitors

To attract more visitors to the community, we visually featured aspects of the community that most people weren't associating with Tsawwassen—the hidden gems. We also played-up Tsawwassen's greatest assets—including having 30% more sun than anywhere else in the lower mainland. To leverage this, we embedded a 'local weather' widget on the front page—to emphasize how much nicer the local forecast might be as compared with other places in the region.

Website: Connecting With Locals

To encourage residents to spend more time and money in their community, we developed a 'local deals' hub that features special deals and promotions—from local businesses. The site also features an enhanced business listing that can also be used as a default web page for the businesses.


The Tsawwassen logo was designed to reflect the laid-back, beach-like feel of the community. The iconic sand dollar was designed to resemble a setting sun, and the font used for ‘Tsawwassen’ was created to look as if it was written in the sand, with a stick.

Original Photography

To visually tell the Tsawwassen story and highlight the various attractions of the community, we coordinated and art-directed multiple photo shoots; in some cases we even explored the region ourselves to shoot our own photos.

The images have been used in numerous applications (i.e. website, brochure & ads) to capture the essence of the family-friendly, beach community.

Public Relations

Once the initial phase of the re-branding was completed, we wanted to get the word out—in as efficient a way as possible.

So, on behalf of the TBIA, we wrote a story release, and pitched it to the most appropriate media outlets. The result was the story (and the BIA) being featured in multiple publications—including a comprehensive, half-page article in the Delta Optimist.

Social Media

To ensure that all consumer touch points were in alignment with the 'Family-Friendly Beach Community' platform, we designed the Facebook & Twitter background images and created brand relevant icons to be used for different applications.

In addition, to visually keep the TBIA's social media on brand, we also provided guidance on how to communicate as though it were coming from 'The Friendly Local'— the community's Brand Persona.

Corporate ID Package

Though professional, our design for the corporate identity package still reflected the fun and casual feel of the 'Family-Friendly Beach Community'—by incorporating the iconic sand dollar and shell designs.

Brand Building Training

An initiative like this is only as good as the participation of the merchants, and so we developed a workshop to help local businesses within the community to leverage the branding efforts of the Tsawwassen BIA.

The half-day, hands-on workshop teaches business owners how to dovetail (their own local store marketing (LSM) efforts) into the over-arching branding program—in order to attract, engage and retain more customers/clients to their individual businesses. The workshop also serves as a way to remind merchants on the importance of individual businesses, like theirs, to live-up to the consumer's expectation—based on the Brand Platform.

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