Tips On Branding – Don’t Be Misunderstood

So  When you started your tourism business and created your your name, logo and URL did you say to ourself, “yeah I have a brand!  

Well, you do — have part of a brand but sorry to break the news to you, but your branding work isn’t done. 

Branding is so much more than a name, logo and a URL. 

What your brand needs to do for people: 

 It needs to make your guests FEEL a certain way  (obviously a good way) when they are exposed to your brand. So it makes sense why a logo, name or URL isn’t what branding is, there is more to it that that. 

Your Brand Can Do This in Two Ways: 

1. Your brand Needs to Deliver on a PROMISE

 So the next point about your brand behavorWell, this means that there is something that your brand delivers on every time to your guest, because they do it consistently and it’s what they start to be known for. 

Apple computers is the best example of this.

Their brand promise is : “Think Different”  It’s a signal to their consumers that they see the world differently and they inspire customers to do the same.  Think different was not just an ad campaign but it is everything they do in their business – to creating life changing technology like the Ipod, iphone, Mac computers, to the sleek, and unmistakable design and white color they use in everything they do. They are unmistakably consistent with how they articulate Think Different across their entire business.  

In the Travel business- Marriott hotels brand promise is: “Quiet luxury. Crafted experiences. Intuitive service.”

Their focus is all about a consistent experience. They strive to anticipate the needs of their guests, to know what they want and deliver it. They are about affordable luxury, with great service. No matter whether you stay at a Marriott in Canada or in Europe they strive to deliver the same consistent  service every time. Marriott is one of the most successful hotel chains in the world, so its no wonder why service would be their brand promise. 

When developing your brand promise for your business, consider these two things:

1. A brand promise needs to be meaningful for your guest – if your guest doesn’t care about it, why bother. 

2. You have to ensure that your staff understand it to. For example if your brand promise is friendly locals – then everyone in your company must behave that way, and as an operator you need to show them the kind of behavior that demonstrates this – on the phone, as a guide or concierge, and as the accountant in the office working with suppliers. 

3. A brand promise needs to be measurable – For example what does friendly mean? How could you measure that? It would require articulating the voice, style and behavior that is consistent with friendly.(see point 2 below). For example a survey to your guests asking them if you delivered on friendly would help you measure it. 

2. You need to think of your brand as a personality – just like a human. 

Meaning it doesn’t just look a certain way  but it talks and acts a certain way too – and you want it to be consistent.

There are 3 areas of your brand you need to think about : 

A. It has a style (look) – this is the colors, design and the tone and of course you need your style to fit with your brand logo and colors  for

For example – you are getting your website designed or creating some marketing materials.  Would you describe your brand as traditional or modern, simple or ornate? 

B. It has a voicewhat does it say to guests and how does it say it? –  

For example, you are creating copy for your social media posts.  What does your brand talk about (the topics – about  responsible travel or luxury travel),  How does it say it? – Is it funny or serious?,  loud or quiet?, casual or professional?

Does your voice fit with your style?

C. And it behaves a certain wayWhat does your brand do?

For example you are picking new partners for your tours or hotel business, are your activities (tours) more adventurous or low key? Are your activities more cutting edge or conservative?

Does your behavior fit with your voice and your style?

When all of these 3 brand areas are consistent in all your marketing then its easier for your guests to ‘Get You’ and Understand you — so you can persuade them to book with you.  

If this tip has helped you with your marketing we’d like to know! Please comment and let us know. 

Check out this video that explains one of the top branding problems in tourism.  

Need some help with your branding? Find out how we can help. 

About the Author

Dorene Wharton is a tourism strategist, marketer, coach, copywriter and full-time traveler with a 25-year career working in all areas of marketing and sales. She left her corporate job with Fortune 500 hospitality brands to start Travel Life Media to help hotels, tour, attractions and event companies improve their marketing, and live their brand with purpose.
Dorene Wharton