Blogs » J.Q. Tomanek of Victoria » I need insulated boots today

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Wow, Texas is great. To think I was wearing short sleeves and could have worn shorts this past weekend and this morning it was 19 degrees in my truck. Do water skis convert to snow skis?

A simple disclaimer before I get started on this morning’s post. FYI, I am not employed by the CVB or the Chamber.

“Bring your Boots.” As this morning’s article presents, the new campaign year kicked off. I don’t think my readership will be surprised to know, the Chamber and CVB is trying to brand Victoria for tourists and visitors. This campaign and other organizations receive their monies from the Hotel/Motel Tax which is collected from visitors staying in our hotels and motels. I know some of us are not on the same page with collecting this type of tax, this blog is not written to defend or reject this collection. I know some are not fans of the campaign, its amount of spending, etc.; this blog is also not to defend or reject the amount, although I will offer some thoughts as to why it is not cheap. I also offer up front, that I don’t know the numbers to compare our campaign to that of other communities. If any would like to research this to let us know, I welcome your effort.

I attended the VEDC presentation of the campaign. The place was of average attendance, which means that the seats were full and people were standing in the doorway. My impression of the materials presented which included the new ads and brochures made me very proud. The materials appear to be first rate and well done. Although I am not an expert in marketing, I do have some knowledge on what ought to work; I say ought, not will. For example, a small coupon catalogue “Bring Your Boots” was available. I think it looks classy and offers a number of discounts to area stores.

Another brochure offers information regarding the Victoria’s museums, it is also professionally designed. A larger brochure was available that gave Victoria’s story and mentioned area attractions from festivals and events to outdoor sports. My favorite was a shopping brochure. I have to admit, although my shopping at women’s boutiques is limited, I was very impressed with the brochure because it spotlighted locally owned shops. Why I like this, and this part of my personal marketing philosophy, is that it shows Victoria is different and unique. I can go to Sugarland and step into any number of places that I can find elsewhere. Yes, we have stores like that here too, but I would have been disappointed had these stores been our spotlight in the brochure.

The highlight of the presentation was the new ads. Each ad featured a different Victoria theme with someone spotlighted with ties to the local area. I thought this was catchy; a visitor sees the ad, reads about the person and may have the opportunity to meet the person. For example, one features Andrea Blomberg of The Texas Zoo, another features Ms. Bade in front of her boutique, and another was featuring Cinco de Mayo and pictured a couple in the traditional Hispanic dance attire. The reason I appreciated this was that it is showcasing uniqueness and differentiation of the Victoria scene and was personal in that it showed real people of Victoria.

Other positive aspects that I found include niche marketing. For example, advertising in Texas Monthly is appropriate because many of the readers of Texas Monthly want to learn about other places in Texas. In this sense, I think it is good because the ads are speaking to those that want to hear a message of different places. An example of the opposite effect, think of the futility if the ads were only placed in the Victoria Advocate. Yes, it is advertising Victoria, but the market that the audience lives in will not visit Victoria because they predominantly live here.

The campaign in general. Here are my thoughts, of course, I encourage responses. These are just some of my personal considerations. I look at this campaign as not a boot selling venture. I think many people get that so I may be speaking to the choir. The boot theme is only an instrument or theme or brand to make Victoria somewhere to travel. I plan on buying a pair of the boots, they are expensive and times are tough, so it will be on hold until I can afford them. Are they the best boots to buy? Well no. I have a pair of Lucchese’s I used for a wedding. I know, “Jared you spent so much for a wedding?” Well, I figured I’d spend extra money on something I knew I would wear more than once. I like my pair of boots and wear them fairly often, versus had I bought a pair just for the wedding, I would not have worn them again. Do I think the Victoria boots are the best thing since sliced bread or the invention of the stirrup? No. I am going to choose the pair I like best of the three, not necessarily because I think they are the coolest boot ever, rather because, despite what I thought was the best, I want to support a greater cause namely our city. What would I have done instead of boots? Heck, I think a designed pistol by Browning or a shotgun by Benelli or even a Victorian pole by Waterloo would be super awesome, but I realize these are some things that are primarily attractive to males in general and outdoorsman males in particular.

If you would like to offer your suggestions, Ms. Bise announced she would love to hear them. If you have different ideas that you think may have been overlooked, let her know, but also offer constructive suggestions to solve the problem.

Ok, so I mixed what I observed in the presentation with some of my thoughts. I would love to hear your thoughts. Can Victorians support the message although disagree with parts? Would you support an event in Victoria even though you dislike parts? Could you volunteer even though you may have no intention of buying the boots ever?