Brand

Developing Your Tourism Brand

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:

  • Your logo
  • Your tagline
  • Your product
  • Your sevice

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.

Your promise to your customer

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.

How do you get your brand inside people’s heads?

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.

What makes a strong tourism 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:

  • What is the mission of your tourism business?
  • What are the benefits and features of your products/services?
  • What do current and prospective customers already think of your tourism business?
  • What qualities do you want them to associate with your tourism business?

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:

  • Get a great logo and place it everywhere!
  • Write down your key messages about your brand and make sure that every single member of your team is aware of your brand attributes
  • Integrate your brand into all aspects of your tourism business. From how your answer your phone, your uniforms, your email signatures – everything!
  • Create a “voice” for your tourism business that reflects your brand. This voice should be applied to all written communication and in all visual imagery. Is your brand friendly? Then be more conversational. Is it a premium product? Be more formal. I hope you get the idea
  • Develop a tagline by writing a memorable meaningful and concise statement that captures the true essence of your tourism business
  • Design templates and create brand standards for marketing materials. This ensures that you use that same colour scheme, logo placement and look and feel throughout all communication. Consistency is the key here!
  • Always be true to your brand as customers won’t return or tell others about your business in the way you want them to if you don’t deliver on your promise.

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.

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