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What's in a name? - Iain Martin, Lake Annecy Resorts
Thursday January 26, 2012 - Email this article to a friend

Four ski resorts in France have joined up to become the Lake Annecy Ski Resorts. In many ways it is just a marketing name but it has wider significance.

The recent French ski industry summit, Grand Ski, held in Annecy last week, saw the official introduction of the new 'Lake Annecy Ski Resorts' area.

This region, which includes the resorts of La Clusaz, Le Grand Bornand, Manigod and St Jean de Sixt, was previously known as Le Massif des Aravis.

The renaming, or rebranding, of ski resorts is not an unknown concept.

Four years ago, research conducted by Serre Chevalier showed that potential holidaymakers didn't understand the nature of the resort, which has individual villages along a valley, rather than up the side of a mountain, like other resorts such as Courchevel or La Plagne.

Their prosaic solution was the addition of the word 'Vallée' to create 'Serre Chevalier Vallée'. 

And you have to admit that it makes sense.

Certainly the management of the resort were happy with the change when we spoke to them at Grand Ski.

Le Grand Bornand, Lake Annecy Ski ResortsLa Clusaz, Lake Annecy Ski Resorts













'Lake Annecy Ski Resorts' is evidently a much great shift than the addition of one word. 

Research by the region showed that awareness of 'Aravis' was very low in the international market.

While French holidaymakers could immediately relate, to foreigners 'Aravis' meant nothing.

Hence the new connection with Annecy.

Annecy is already an internationally famous town, with much greater awareness, even more so after the bid to host the 2018 Winter Olympics evne though it ended in failure.  

The idea is that the new name communicates the proximity of the resorts to this scenic city, as well as the non-ski options and summer possibilities of the area.

La Clusaz, Lake Annecy Ski ResortsLe Grand Bornard, Lake Annecy Ski Resorts













Initially the new name will just be for the international market, but next year it will be rolled out to the French market as well.

All the staff will have new uniforms that carry the logo of their resort as well as the 'LASR' logo, similar to the combined branding on Les Trois Vallées staff uniforms.

Only time will tell how much of an effect this will have on the region's fortunes, but Skipedia's view is that this is a smart move.

Both Annecy and the Aravis resorts can benefit; the new logo is modern and appealing; and the linking of the summer and winter markets is a shrewd move. 

The only question we can't answer is how much the whole rebranding exercise is going to cost.

Hopefully they will sell enough extra passes to pay for it all.

The new logoThe new logo







For a PlanetSKI sponsored feature on the re-branded ski area of Lake Annecy Ski Resorts see this earlier story.

Iain Martin is the founder of Skipedia - Snowsports Marketing Consultants.

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