The term “brand” has become one of those words that has almost propelled itself into the hallowed halls of business jargon to its ubiquity and, frankly, overuse. If we had a bitcoin for every time we heard the phrase ‘brand’, we’d be internet millionaires. But a more lucrative situation would be if we had a bitcoin for every time we heard a misperception about what branding is, then we could buy the entire internet. It might be easier to start with what a brand ISN’T.
A brand is not:
All of these things can be expressions of your brand but they are not your brand.
Here’s the simplest way we here at Kreative Social Media define brand: Branding is about the promise of a distinct, memorable experience. It’s about creating an expectation and delivering it consistently every time anyone comes in contact with your brand whether it’s the way you answer the phone, how your website functions, your customer service process, how your tourism office/accommodation looks or how your service/product performs. It’s how you make your customers feel about themselves and their decisions when they are interacting with your brand. It’s why they stay at hotel A vs hotel B even if the price or product might not be that much different.
Developing a strong, authentic brand and delivering it consistently is the foundation upon which every successful tourism business is built and gives you a major edge in what is an increasingly competitive market.
A brand is a collection of thoughts and feelings about our experience with it. They are intangible as you can only feel them rather than the tangible which you can see, hear, touch, taste or smell. Brand is your promise to your customer. It tells them what they can expect when interacting with your tourism business and it differentiates you from your competitors. You brand is developed from who you are, who you want to be, and who people perceive you to be.
You get your tourism brand inside the head of your potential and current customers by exposing them to messages about your brand and also through the actual experiences they have with your brand. Experiences refer to all moments when they come in contact with your brand. Every single member of your tourism business team contributes to shaping their experience with your brand. Therefore, marketing is a function of all members of the organisation and not just an individual team member. A brand will not be strong and a tourism business will not be able to deliver on its branding promise unless the entire business from top to bottom understands and embraces the brand.
Every strong tourism brand stands for something; one single differentiating attribute which can be termed the “brand essence”. This is the one single intangible attribute that differentiates your brand from your competitors.
Branding distinguishes your tourism business from its competitors and builds a preference with your customers. Having consistent strategic branding will lead to strong brand equity which will result in the “added value” brought to your businesses products and services meaning that you will be able to charge more for your brand than what identical, unbranded businesses can command.
Finding and clearly defining your “brand essence” is very much a journey of self-discovery which can be started by answering the following questions:
So now you are well on the way to defining your brand, but how do you tell everyone about it. Here are a few simple tips to get you started:
Hopefully this has been helpful in simplifying the concept and getting you started in defining or refining your tourism business brand. Always remember that we are here to help so just drop us an email if you have any questions about branding or any marketing for your tourism business.
Hours upon hours can be spent trying to grow or develop your tourism business. But how spend your valuable time could actually end up hindering your tourism business from becoming successful. Hiring a virtual marketing assistant can free up some time you may be spending on marketing and replace it with what you do best.
An extra set of hands can help with creating newsletters, social media content creation, posting content on your blog, answering emails from clients or responding to social media mentions. A virtual marketing assistant can also take charge of a marketing campaign or product launch.
A virtual marketing assistant can help your tourism business on a short or long-term basis. They can assist you with a specific project or provide assistance for a certain number of hours per week or month. This means that they can provide assistance when you really need it most eg leading up to the peak holiday season or to increase bookings during your off-season.
Tips for creating a great working relationship with your virtual marketing assistant:
1. Determine your needs before hiring
You need to have clear expectations and clear boundaries in relation to the role. Are you looking for your virtual marketing assistant to take on more of a project management or task-oriented role.
2. How to find a marketing virtual assistant
Ask around as finding a marketing virtual assistant via a referral gives you insider information on their skills and knowledge. Also determine if they have experience within the tourism industry as an understanding of the terminology and unique challenges your tourism business faces is important to the overall success of the relationship and work produced.
3. Take it slowly
Always have a ‘discovery’ session via Skype or in person (if this is possible). This is really important for both parties because if you can’t build a rapport during this time then you probably aren’t going to be a good fit and working together is not going to be as successful as it should. Start out on a trial basis instead of signing a long-term contract straight away is a good approach to take, particularly if you haven’t worked with a marketing virtual assistant before.
4. Specify any technical skills needed
A virtual marketing assistant with a high technical skill level will be able to adapt to new systems easily and quite seamlessly but the learning curve for a less experienced assistant who may not be a marketing or tourism specialist may be steeper. If you have specific requirements or preferences, make sure you discuss them at the outset.
5. Manage – don’t micro-manage
Once you engage your virtual marketing assistant, the first few weeks will be a bit of a learning curve for both of you. It is very important that you trust your virtual marketing assistant enough to do the role you have engaged them for without second- guessing them.
There is a difference between monitoring the material being produced to ensure that it is a representation of your tourism brand and being a micro-manager.
6. Don’t delegate your pet projects
If you can’t really let go of a specific project or task then don’t. Because even if you do delegate this then you will be constantly thinking about it and it will continue to absorb a significant amount of your time and energy. This defeats the whole idea of engaging a virtual marketing assistant. Keep the tasks you’re attached to on your to-do-list until you are ready to let them go.
7. Remember why you hired a virtual marketing assistant
Being able to focus on the tasks that inspire you and keep your business moving forward is one of the reasons for you to work with a virtual marketing assistant. Keep that in mind when you are planning how you can make the best use of the extra time you will now have to work ‘on’ rather than ‘in’ your business and how this will help you grow your tourism business to a new level.
If you would like to find out more about hiring a virtual marketing assistant for your tourism business then contact us today to arrange a time for a no-obligation chat.