National Park Brand

The Challenge: How to promote the fact that the area is now designated as a National Park while also raising the quality and environmental aspects of local businesses.

The Response: Create a visual identity (a logo or brand) for the area that symbolises the specialness of the place and devise a way for it to be used by a wide range of people in promoting their business service or product.


When the National Park was created, the opportunity to promote the area as a ‘place’ was realised and the development of a Cairngorms Brand was seen as a fundamental tool to be used in marketing and promotional activity, enhancing not replacing existing strong brands operating throughout the Park.

Development of a ‘brand wheel’ examined both the rational element of the brand:

  • what the product is
  • facts and symbols
  • what is does for me

and the more emotional aspects:

  • how the brand makes me feel
  • how it makes me look
  • what its personality is
  • what are its values (the rules by which it lives)

These all lead to the centre of the wheel which outlines:

  • the fundamental proposition - why people should come here
  • the subsequent market positioning  - what is it’s competitive edge

Think about some other iconic brands in your daily life and see if you can pinpoint the rational and emotional aspects for you – remember the way you see a brand may be very different to the way someone else sees the same brand – take Burberry for example…

The next stage in developing the Cairngorms Brand was to design the visual identity which would encompass the values of the area and be used in a wide range of circumstances - it is more than simply a logo.  Focus groups all around the country were asked their opinions on particular designs and the unanimous decision gave us the iconic osprey.  Does the Cairngorms Brand say ‘National Park’ or ‘special place’ to you?

The Cairngorms National Park Authority acts as the Brand Manager. Criteria for use of the brand by businesses and community organisations have been developed and more and more of them are beginning to see the benefits of becoming a ‘Cairngorms Brand Ambassador’. Find out more from the CNPA website here.