East looks to west

Suffolk's Somerleyton Estate
Suffolk's Somerleyton Estate

Distance proved no object for a large Suffolk tourist attraction which has turned to a Cornish firm to help revamp its image and boost flagging visitor numbers.

The Somerleyton Estate commissioned the Hayle-based design firm Nixon to look at every aspect of its business – from the grand stately home, tea rooms, boutique hotel, boating lake, holiday cabins and pub – and devise a new logo and appealing communications strategy to help it attract more of the many thousands of tourists who flock to East Anglia each year.

The results of the work are now being rolled out across the estate, with brand new signage, advertising campaigns, tourist literature and distinctive new uniforms for the staff.

“We were approached by Somerleyton because they liked our work for Cornish tourist destinations such as Tresco and Trebah gardens,” said Nixon’s strategic director Toby Ash. “They had looked at using either a Norwich or London-based agency, but they opted for us because of our experience in helping boost the profile of leading tourist attractions.”

So far the results of the project have been promising. Says the Honourable Hugh Crossley, heir to the estate: “We looked at three branding agencies and chose Nixon as we felt they could best interpret the estate’s core values to the staff and to the outside world. Driving around the estate now there is a clear homogeny as the main signs have been changed and the workforce and visitors I believe have a better understanding of what we are all trying to do here and what we represent.”

Nixon sent a team to Norfolk to hold a series of workshops involving every member of the 100-strong Somerleyton workforce. “Their input was invaluable to us and their buy in to the end result is essential for its success,” added Ash.