New Mexico, the so-called Land of Enchantment, has a branding problem, the Wall Street Journal is reporting.
From today’s article:
“New Mexico calls itself the Land of Enchantment. But the spell isn’t working all that well.
“Overnight tourist trips in New Mexico have dropped by nearly 10% in the past three years, and spending on everything from souvenir magnets to turquoise jewelry fell by hundreds of millions of dollars.
“When state tourism officials convened focus groups in Chicago, Houston and Los Angeles to ask prospective travelers about their perceptions of New Mexico, the same depressing descriptions kept cropping up: ‘Arid.’ ‘Barren.’ ‘Dull.’
“Also: ‘Close to Arizona.’”
What’s New Mexico going to do about it? From the article:
“So state officials are launching a $2.5 million effort to rebrand New Mexico as a place of charm and character, adventure, excitement — and really good green chili cheeseburgers. As a model, the state is looking north to Colorado, which routinely gets praised in focus groups as ‘majestic,’ ‘glorious’ and ‘heavenly.’
“But rebranding a state can be a risky proposition. New Jersey hired a consultant a few years ago to come up with a new tourism slogan. The result? ‘New Jersey: We’ll Win You Over.’ That may have been an improvement over its 1970s tagline, ‘New Jersey’s Got It,’ which inspired innumerable jokes about venereal disease. But state officials thought ‘We’ll Win You Over’ sounded defensive and spiked the campaign.
“New Mexico, too, has had some marketing misfires. One recent come-hither campaign played off conspiracy theories about UFO landings in Roswell, N.M., and featured bug-eyed green aliens. The state’s Rose Parade float in 2008 featured the creatures.”
One obvious problem: The Wall Street Journal, in an article about New Mexico’s green chile, spelled it “chili.”
Read the rest of the article here.