By Lyra Bordelon
The Greenbrier Valley Airport unveiled a new logo and branding in a special meeting on Friday, September 25. Featuring the blues and greens common to Greenbrier Valley, the new logo highlights the airport’s callsign, relabels its name, and puts emphasis on new markets the airport team hopes to bring in.
“The potential is here for this airport to do great things,” explained Airport Director Brian Belcher. “It’s already a great airport, look at the facility, … I just feel like this is something we needed to move into the future and to grow.”
With Nikki Butler Design representative Buddy Butler, Airport Authority Chair Deborah Phillips, and Belcher heading the meeting, the new logo was unveiled. The most prominent section reads “Fly LWB,” with “Greenbrier Valley Airport” and “Airport of the Virginias” sitting below. Why LWB instead of Greenbrier Valley Airport?
“One of the things that was really important when designing the new logo was to definitely make the LWB the airport callsign, very prominent,” Butler said. “That was really important because as people search for the airport online, that’s the way they want to be searching, … so we felt it had to be the hero of the logo. … The other really nice thing about this particular element of the logo is we can pull it our separately, so you’ll probably see ‘Fly LWB’ by itself, depending on the location of the logo.”
When flying into the Greenbrier Valley Airport, LWB is the callsign used to search for potential flights, book rental cars, and more.
“The fact that LWB isn’t intuitive to the name [is the reason to center it],” Butler said. “[For example], Pittsburg is PIT, that makes sense, you would search it that way, but if you were looking for Greenbrier Valley Airport, LWB would not be your first instinct. We wanted to make sure we’re pushing that.”
Designated LWB for Lewisburg some time ago, the airport team looked into changing the identifier to bring it more in line with the Greenbrier Valley Airport, but were surprised by how long that process could take.
“When we met with the Division of Tourism, they had attempted to look at all of the identifiers for airports in West Virginia and found that it was a 20-year process to change that identifier,” Phillips explained. “We kind of fell back – it is easier for us to do that [and] put those [marketing] dollars into what has already been utilized and what we’re being identified as.”
At the previous Airport Authority meeting, the board discussed the state of the budget, including strong fuel sales and CARES Act funding, and the potential for more leisure travel flights to the airport.
“During the pandemic, what’s happened is business travel has really dropped off, but what we found out in the summer is leisure traffic is still there,” Belcher said. “That’s the reason you see airlines like Allegient doing well, … with us being in a leisure area, where there’s plenty of resorts, that says we’re going to be able to compete with our peer airports for sure.”
Looking toward this future, the team hopes to work with both local organizations and businesses to increase the regional aspects of the airport. Hoping to expand into the western side of Virginia and cover more of southern West Virginia, the tagline “Airport of the Virginias” was added for extra emphasis on these markets.
“When I got here, it seemed like the airport wasn’t really a partner in the community, but we want to be a partner,” Belcher said. “With the CVB, with the chamber, with all of the businesses that create travel into this area. We want people flying here for all of that. … When [The Greenbrier is] up and operating and doing something great, it stimulates us. If Snowshoe is holding a big event, I expect people to be flying in here to go to Snowshoe. Same thing with the Homesteaed. We’re just in the early stages of winning all those communities or organization over, but we want to be a partner with all of them. … If everyone is working together you can get a lot done.”
Belcher took hold of the logo project shortly after coming on board, but the airport had been considering a rebrand for some time.
“This was something the board had considered well in advance of Mr. Belcher coming on as airport manager,” explained Airport Authority boardmember Mike Rose. “This is something that has been in discussion and has been contemplated for probably close to two years. With Brian’s arrival here, it was the perfect opportunity to give him a project when he walked in the door. … As you can see, I think he’s done a wonderful job and this is going to add to the success we’ve already had.”
Once Belcher came onboard, the job took off with input from a number of organizations and airport employees.
“We started out with Charleston and the West Virginia Development Office and the Division of Tourism, talking with the director and others senior leadership in the state government, to see what their future plans were relating to marketing,” Phillips said. “We brought that information home and during a process of multiple meetings that included our partners at the chamber of commerce, the Convention and Visitors Bureau, our board, and the employees of the airport, we put together some ideas as it relates to what we felt like we needed. Of course what they identified was the need for a new brand that reflected the safety and the importance of this airport to the Greenbrier Valley area.”
With the new logo in place, Belcher and the team are looking to continue marketing the Greenbrier Valley Airport for the foreseeable future.
“Over time we want to conquer the world,” Belcher said. “We want [the logo] out everywhere for sure. … Digitally, we’re gonna use it in all of our advertising. You’ll see it as many places as we can get it.”