Putting Aiken on the Map

The City of Aiken exemplifies inland South Carolina charm. And is an ideal backdrop for the South’s evolving story.

Our team created a destination brand refresh and marketing strategy for Aiken that upholds the City’s historic Southern attributes while moving it gracefully into the future.

Boasting an incredible visitor experience, Aiken has a walkable downtown, a deep equestrian heritage, and a rich history as a winter retreat, particularly for equestrian sports such as fox hunting, polo, and thoroughbred racing.

Its magical Historic Horse District, partly within Downtown, has soft dirt roads lined with towering Live Oaks, and stunning architecture that beckons curious visitors. 

It’s also home to Hitchcock Woods, the largest privately-owned urban forest in America, with 2,100 acres of forestland and 70 miles of sandy trails.

We’ve never seen anything quite like Aiken, and apparently we aren’t the only ones. It has been a well-kept secret for a very long time.

While the City seeks to grow its visitor economy, it is dedicated to ensuring that its original charm and character remain intact.

One of our unique challenges for this project is to help the the City of Aiken’s Tourism Department tell its unique story to the modern visitor, while still helping to protect its authentic equestrian lifestyle and distinct community feel.

We’re addressing this by selectively targeting audiences who are attuned to Aiken’s cultural nuances and will respect the integrity of the area.

We achieved this delicate balance by engaging with and listening to community stakeholders, and helping demonstrate the City’s commitment to their needs and concerns.

Informed by community input, our comprehensive brand development process includes a refreshed brand book, a new destination website, video and photography content, and digital marketing execution, we were able to create a strategy, refreshed visual identity, and campaigns to attract like-minded visitors who appreciate Aiken for what it has always been: “Intimately Southern”.