"At the moment itís a vision. An idea. But itís a big idea, and sometimes, for brands of real ambition, only a big idea will do."

Simon Middleton

Simon Middleton - Hemsby and the power of a big idea

21st January 2010

"When I started working with the little Norfolk seaside resort of Hemsby & Newport a few months ago, a number of people questioned whether it was possible to turn around the reputation of a little-known resort in a short time, with any sort of real impact. But with virtually no budget and from a relatively unpromising start, this little resort has achieved a remarkable change in its profile and brand image.

Focusing on Hemsbyís Viking origins we created a new positioning line and logo, which is now featured on the resortís village sign. The logo itself and the idea of the Vikings being the first people to have fun on the beach at Hemsby has achieved widespread media coverage. From the Eastern Daily Press and the Great Yarmouth Mercury through to Anglia TV, BBC Radio, even Londonís Metro newspaper, the Hemsby Viking has been everywhere.

Our plans for a unique three day Viking and Scandinavian Festival in Hemsby are now firmly in place (June 18, 19 and 20) and this has won the resort still more coverage, which will build as the date approaches. With Viking re-enactments, Abba tribute acts and Scandinavian arts, crafts and more, the festival will be a real first for Norfolk.

And now Hemsby has announced its biggest brand idea to date: the vision for a dramatic and exciting Eden of the East to be created on the former Pontins holiday park site in the resort. Pontins closed at the end of the 2008 season, crippling the resortís holiday businesses. It was that blow which prompted the traders of the town to think about whether brand and big ideas could change their fortunes.

Now the local media, travel media and even the national media have begun to talk and write about the Hemsby Eden of the East project as you can see on this BBC site.

At the moment itís a vision. An idea. But itís a big idea, and sometimes, for brands of real ambition, only a big idea will do. "

Simon Middleton - Brand Strategy Guru

Simon Middleton has become one of the UK's best known brand consultants.

Simon's work has included brand strategy and campaigns for companies that include: Barclays, Norwich Union, Denplan, pharmaceutical giant Merial, brewing and wine company Adnams, and Britain's best known sandwich chain Pret A Manger.

He has also advised numerous charities on their specific brand strategy, including St John Ambulance, Anthony Nolan Trust and Voluntary Norfolk.

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