Putting Aiken on the Map

The City of Aiken exemplifies inland South Carolina charm. An ideal backdrop for the evolving story of the New South.

Our team created a destination marketing strategy for Aiken that upholds the City’s historic Southern attributes while moving it 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 for Northerners dating back to the 1800s, particularly for horse sports such as fox hunting, polo, and thoroughbred racing.

Its magical Historic Horse District, partly within Downtown, has dirt roads lined with towering Live Oaks, and stunning architecture beckoning the curious visitor. 

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 had 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 historic and authentic equestrian district and community. 

One of the ways we’re addressing this is by selectively targeting audiences who are attuned to cultural nuances and will uphold respect for 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.

Through our inclusive brand development process that includes a new website, visual content, and targeted 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: an intimate and genteel getaway.