The competitive positioning is the result of a project jointly commissioned in September 2018, by Salisbury BID, Salisbury City Council and VisitWiltshire, with the support of VisitBritain/VisitEngland and the Discover England Fund and Wiltshire Council.
An event was held at Salisbury Guildhall on Friday 5th July to reveal the positioning to stakeholders, who discussed the ways in which it can be implemented across the city.
The aim of the project is to give the city’s leadership, businesses and stakeholders a clear focus, both for how the city’s strengths are best communicated and how the Salisbury offer should be developed to best enable the city to compete for investment, talent and visitors in a crowded competitive market.
To develop the positioning over 150 people from local business, stakeholder and partner organisations participated in workshops and interviews to share what they perceive to be the city's strengths and special qualities and also the challenges in competing with other destinations.
More than 1,000 residents, businesses, stakeholders and visitors added their thoughts through an online survey and visitor perceptions of the city were tested in a series of focus groups.
This process revealed some strong key themes; a sense of pride in the long heritage of the city, in its beauty, its tradition of craftsmanship, and the enduring spirit and ambition of the community. It also acknowledged the desire to move forward with energy and to celebrate and develop the city’s independent spirit, the creativity and entrepreneurialism of its people and businesses; for Salisbury to lead the way in defining what it means to be a 21st century medieval city.
The new positioning is fully explained in a 44-page guide for businesses and stakeholders. The guide, which is available to download here, is a source for businesses, partners, stakeholders and residents to help them easily adopt the concept and build it into their respective plans for the future, which as a result, will aid growth in Salisbury.
The central positioning idea is “Traditional Original”. This recognises the unique blend of tradition, heritage, imagination, creativity, innovation and originality which sets Salisbury apart from the crowd. This central idea is supported by a narrative for the city, which sets out the agreed proposition in more detail, outlining the key reasons to visit, study, work, invest and live in Salisbury.
The guide gives initial guidelines and examples to aid businesses in using the positioning within their own communications and product development.
The positioning has received support from a wide range of local businesses and organisations who are now working in partnership to ensure it is successfully implemented. Next steps will include the development of a toolkit to help local businesses and organisations make practical use of the positioning; to develop new product experiences, inform new plans and initiatives and to promote our city, its businesses and attractions.
Beyond the immediate development of practical communications tools, partnership working will continue while consideration is given to a Place Board or a similar appropriate delivery vehicle; ensuring partners from across the public and private sector continue to work together to help Salisbury achieve its potential.
In partnership with VisitWiltshire, Salisbury BID co-fund the Visit Salisbury website to promote the city to visitors. The Visit Salisbury website has a full events calendar for Salisbury.