With a newly formed Tourism Improvement District looking to increase the number of hotel guests in Pleasant Hill accommodations, HUB got to work crafting a strategic marketing plan to achieve just that. After touring the town, listening to stakeholders, and researching the area, we presented a main conclusion about Pleasant Hill: it’s not a tourist destination. However, its proximity to much of Northern California’s main attractions—San Francisco, Wine Country, the Pacific Coast—make it a prime center-of-everything basecamp for those looking for a convenient and accessible point of departure.

This meant finding the right audience for staying in Pleasant Hill proved crucial: the thrill seeker who wants to be in the middle of the crowd and noise won’t be enticed by Pleasant Hill’s affordable rooms and free parking, but young families traveling on a dime or savvy business trip travelers might. Our final strategy suggested reaching these people by building a recognizable brand, promoting tourism in the right ways, creating and advertising special signature events while attracting sporting activities that bring overnight stays, and getting local businesses and the community on board about the opportunities being a tourism advocate brings.

To communicate Pleasant Hill’s unique offerings, we developed taglines that promoted the welcoming and easy atmosphere of the city: “Welcome to the comfort zone” and “Stay Pleasant.”In addition to this foundational strategic work, we outlined the components of a brand launch toolkit to help the tourism committee comprehend the necessary parts and level of effort needed to successfully launch the new tourism-centric brand for the first time. This included a 15 month action plan that broke down step-by-step the marketing initiatives for the coming year, including the creation of a visual brand, tourism website, merchandise, focused marketing campaigns, merchandise, visitor guide and walking map, events advertising, social media presence, and operational support.

With the overwhelming approval of the tourism committee, the chamber of commerce, and the city government, HUB is helping turn the plan into a reality. Visit staypleasanthill.com to see the next chapter of the Pleasant Hill story (and book your visit to the Comfort Zone while you’re at it).