The FichtelApp: Digital innovation in the Fichtelgebirge with and from Ergosign

Esther Barra Lead Communication Manager

14/06/2024 • 5 minutes reading time

Golly what an app!

The FichtelApp: A digital success story in the heart of the Fichtel Gebirge

The Fichtel Gebirge are known for their picturesque landscape and diverse recreational opportunities. With more than 70,000 residents, 17 municipalities, and 13 nature reserves, there are plenty of opportunities for a fulfilling life or a vacation – whether you're into sports, nature, or adventures. The "Freiraum für Macher" (Space for Makers) initiative was launched in 2018 to draw more attention to this region and attract qualified professionals, entrepreneurs, and families. It successfully qualified the Wunsiedel district as a model region for the Smart City initiative. A central part of this development is the FichtelApp, developed by Ergosign in close collaboration with the city of Wunsiedel.

The challenge: creating a digital representation of the Fichtel Gebirge

The initiative "Freiraum für Macher" had the goal of positioning the Fichtel Gebrige as a livable space for work, life, and tourism. Now, the entire Fichtel Gebirge fits into your pocket with the FichtelApp. Ergosign was tasked with developing an app that not only provides practical information but also conveys the unique lifestyle of the region. The focus was on a user-centered approach that ensured the needs and desires of users were considered from the start.

Omnichannel brand experience

The Wunsiedel district launched a successful campaign featuring Thomas Zeitler as "Werner," the humorous ambassador of the Fichtel Gebrige. Having been born and bred in the Fichtel Gebrige, he didn't have to act much to authentically embody the feeling and quality of life in the region. Since the release of the app in July 2022, Werner has also been available digitally. This seamlessly transitions the campaign from the analog to the digital world: the app meets users at all touchpoints. In January 2024, "Kristina" joined as female support for Werner and the makers of the region. Her digital version in the app will, of course, also be included. 

Intuitive handling and innovative features

The FichtelApp not only offers intuitive operation and clear structure but also exciting features such as augmented reality. By integrating gamification elements, user engagement with the app is increased while they playfully learn more about the region. The visual design of the app was carefully chosen to create a harmonious and natural atmosphere. Specially crafted illustrations foster a sense of connection with the Fichtel Gebrige and contribute to a unique user experience. Through the integration of community features, the FichtelApp strengthens cohesion and networking in the region. Users can join local interest groups and actively participate in shaping the app.

Where's the next loo? 

The charming Werner presents the app and its many features in a creative and hilarious promotional video. This helped make the video well-known far beyond the borders of the Fichtel Gebrige. The video refers to a small but important aspect of the app: the geographic location of public toilets. It's this attention to detail that makes the FichtelApp so unique and a prime example of a successful mobile tourism application. 

The community at the center: solidarity and exchange

A special feature of the FichtelApp is the integration of the local community. By allowing users to join various interest groups and contribute their own content, the app becomes a lively digital meeting place for locals and visitors alike. From hiking tips to culinary highlights to event notifications, the FichtelApp provides comprehensive insights into life in the Fichtel Gebrige. 

The FichtelApp is more than just a tourism app – it is a digital reflection of the region that promotes exchange, networking, and participation in the Fichtel Gebrige across generations. With additional digital products like the FichtelPodcast and the FichtelNewsletter, the Wunsiedel district consistently implements its vision of a future-proof and flexible region. The next step in realizing this vision is the introduction of the "FichtelStelen", another collaboration with Ergosign, which will be available at many public places in the region in the summer of 2024. The steles represent another touchpoint for the FichtelApp, fostering information flow and engagement with the app. 

A landscape from the Fichtel Gebirge with award logos and a quote from Landrat Peter Berek: We wanted to create a digital reflection of the region with the FichtelApp, one that can promote exchange, networking, further development, and participation in the Fichtelgebirge across generations. However, the greatest reward for me is the success the app has with our users.

A complete success: awards and positive feedback

Since its release in July 2022, the FichtelApp has garnered a steadily growing user base and received positive ratings. The app has now established itself as an indispensable tool for locals and tourists alike.

The FichtelApp is not only a success for the region but also an example of successful brand communication and digital innovation. It demonstrates how cooperation, user-centeredness, and engagement can create a vibrant community that makes the Fichtel Gebirge a place you simply must love. The awards received from various design awards are the icing on the cake of a thoroughly successful project.

If you are also interested in a successful digital strategy for your business, please feel free to contact us. We will support you in developing innovative and user-centered solutions, that effectively promote your goals.

Since starting at Erghosign at the end of 2021, I have had the pleasure of accompanying the FichtelApp by creating content for social media, case studies, and awards. I am incredibly proud of how people connect with the app, how it enriches the community, and of all the successes the app has achieved.

Esther Barra