City of Lakeway aims to hire firm to develop marketing program

On July 8, the Lakeway Visitors Commission chose North Star Destination Strategies, a branding and marketing company, to develop materials for a new advertising campaign, Lakeway City Manager Steve Jones said.

The Nashville-based company specializes in creating custom marketing programs, or brands, for municipalities and visitors commissions. According to North Star's website, branding is used to change, refine or improve what people are saying about a community. The process can include a new city logo, which Jones said is a possibility for Lakeway.

Jones said that about half of the LVC's budget is geared toward bringing tourism to the city and business to its hotels. The resulting income funds Lakeway's hotel occupancy tax.

"We don't have a brand as a city," Jones said. "We're trying to standardize that message. North Star will help us identify who we are and what we have to sell."

Per its website, North Star has provided branding campaigns for other Texas cities, such as Denison. Funded wholly by Lakeway's hotel occupancy tax, North Star's $70,000 contract with the city may be set for approval by Lakeway City Council in August and will then take about six months to complete, Jones said.

"Hopefully [the brand] will be something we can be proud of," Jones said. "We're already proud, but it will be packaged up in pretty pictures and nice words that we can present to the tourism industry."