Episode 188: Brand Identity in Historic and Cultural Destinations, with Courtney Kasper

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There’s a southern accent, where Courtney Kasper comes from. She is a Sweet Home Alabama native, Florida State and Syracuse University graduate, and a Poodle person. Courtney is the current Equal Rights Heritage Center Visitor Experience Manager. She is a former associate publisher of Today’s Central New York Woman, and a journalist with work featured in Time Out New York and Dance Magazine. Courtney is a direct descendant of Revolutionary heroine Nancy Morgan Hart, otherwise known as War Woman.

Destination on the Left is joined by Courtney Kasper, the Visitor Experience Manager at the Equal Rights Heritage Center in Auburn, New York. On our podcast, Courtney and I have an amazing conversation where she shares her approach to “being patient where you are with your place in life.” We talk about the vast amount of ways that idea ties into her current work and the state of crisis we are currently experiencing. She walks us through the process she used to create a powerful brand identity for the building she was hired to manage. She also discusses the many collaborations and creative breakthroughs that enabled her organization to successfully navigate the challenges of the pandemic.

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • The purpose behind the welcome center and how it ties into Courtney’s backstory
  • The collaborative nature of the City of Auburn Historic and Cultural Sites Commission
  • How Courtney has used creativity to help Auburn stand out from other destinations in the area
  • How Courtney overcame the challenge of developing the welcome center’s brand identity while preserving its history
  • Different ways that Courtney has used creativity to navigate the pandemic
  • What it means to “be patient where you are with your place in life” and how it relates to the work Courtney is doing now
The Equal Rights Heritage Center

Courtney Kasper is the Visitor Experience Manager at the Equal Rights Heritage Center in Auburn, New York. On our podcast, Courtney and I have an amazing conversation where she shares her approach to “being patient where you are with your place in life.” We talk about the vast amount of ways that idea ties into her current work and the state of crisis we are currently experiencing. She walks us through the process she used to create a powerful brand identity for the building she was hired to manage. She also discusses the many collaborations and creative breakthroughs that enabled her organization to successfully navigate the challenges of the pandemic.

More Than a Welcome Center

The Equal Rights Heritage Center is unique because it is technically the official welcome center for the city of Auburn, New York. It is the headquarters for the City of Auburn Historic and Cultural Sites Commission, which was started to create a round table for all of the different site directors so they could create strategies to boost tourism in Auburn together. With exhibits like “Seeing Equal Rights in NYS,” however, it is so much more than a welcome center. They are trying to promote tourism, but more importantly, they are trying to tell Auburn’s story and the stories of the amazing people who made Auburn what it is today.

Creating a New Brand Identity

The collaboration between all of the historic and cultural sites has yielded great results for the City of Auburn. But creativity is what really helped the destination stand out from the pack. The Equal Rights Heritage Center has so many things under one roof, so Courtney had to develop a brand identity that captured the right amount of everything. Through the Market New York program, Courtney was able to work with an agency to create a powerful campaign highlighting the unique welcome center building and its equal rights exhibit. They built out content to highlight the unique backstory of the building, and they designed events to celebrate other aspects of Auburn as well. It was a difficult challenge, but Courtney was able to reinvent the welcome center’s brand while preserving its history.

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