Once a hotspot for Sydneysiders and tourists looking to unwind and celebrate, Sydney’s King Street Wharf had lost its shine. LaSalle Investment Management wanted to restore the wharf’s status as an authentic and much-loved Sydney destination – and in turn see the businesses that call it home thrive and prosper.
Our market research indicated that locals felt King Street Wharf was touristy and there was no real reason to visit. By default, this also meant tourists weren’t visiting – as they want to go where the locals flock, to soak up ‘real Sydney’.
We needed to re-connect King Street Wharf to local audiences – as not only would this re-engage the tourist market, it would also deliver the repeat visitation that would drive return for businesses.
Our insight was that despite being lauded as the ‘harbourside’ city, very few CBD locations offer an opportunity for Sydneysiders to causally enjoy the city’s waterfront location – but King Street Wharf did exactly this. Through the brand idea of ‘My harbourside local’, we invited local audiences to explore, re-connect and feel a sense of ownership over this precious harbourside destination.
The creative was driven by the notion that to connect to Sydneysiders, you’ve got to behave like a Sydneysider – colourful, fun and a little irreverent. Hence the new identity was invigorated with a lively spirit, vibrant colours and playful illustrations that felt very true to place and far from ‘touristy’.
This irreverence was also reflected in the brand language, which toyed with the catchcry ‘long live the King!’, and became a platform to celebrate all the things that King Street Wharf holds dear – long lunches, morning coffees, summer anthems, late nights and D&Ms.
The logo was not only intended to echo the shape of a wharf, but also played on the concept of turning perceptions of the Wharf on its head, with the flipping of ‘WHARF’ in the mark.
We also understood that shifting locals’ perceptions required more than just marketing – punters needed to see the brand idea reflected in the place experience. We partnered with Twentieth Letter to develop a series of activations that brought our ‘harbourside local’ to life with pop-up markets and events. The brand expression also came to life on the site with signage and placemaking, welcoming the locals back to their harbourside home.
“King Street Wharf has transformed into a colourful precinct, that Sydneysiders feel connected and proud of. This is a prime example of the importance of translating brand ideas into the built environment through place-based experiences. King Street Wharf is now truly a beloved ‘harbourside local’ because it’s walked the talk.”