Category Archives: Branding

Brand – Tell Them Who You Are

Often times, companies get caught up in the branding of themselves, their products and their services. It is important to remember what exactly branding is, and where we actually want to focus our branding efforts. As a visitor destination, how do you brand yourself? For some, the answer might include things like logos, websites, and slogans. But is that really the brand of your destination?

When you tackle the branding or re-branding of your property this year, consider the customer. The brand should be the feelings, connections and emotions that the customer experiences  when they look at your website, visit your property or hear your slogan. Here are some tips to keep in mind when you take on the brand of your destination in 2013:

1. Look Out the Window – Your brand is your chance to separate yourself from the crowd. Own this opportunity. Look all around you and record what you see…oceans, beaches, forests, whatever it is, use it to your advantage. Take the elements available to you and flip them to impact the emotions of your customer.

2. Don’t Hold Onto the Past – Consider how you view your destination versus how your customer does. Are they the same? Perhaps they are, but if not, do not be afraid to change. Just because you were a beach resort last year does not mean you have to be known for that this year.

3. Use Your Brand Everywhere – Once you have a brand that us uniquely your own, use it. Use it everywhere, across all platforms: websites, mail pieces, slogans, logos, telephone calls, etc. You get the idea. Consistency is the key.

Original Article found on MediaPost. To read the full article, click here.

Loyalty Programs – A Stream of Consumer Information

The value of belonging to something special has not diminished in today’s consumer world. What is often times thought of as a past mentality of consumers, is in fact the exact opposite. This holds especially true in the hospitality industry. According to independent research, more than 77% of travelers belong to at least one hotel loyalty or rewards program. This is excellent news…on the hospitality side of things.

With loyalty programs sprouting left and right, comes the flood of consumer information associated with belonging: demographics, personal interests, favorite restaraunts, properties and stores, customer satisfaction surveys and more. Essentially, marketing departments are left with a goldmine of information to specifically target customers with…why wouldn’t you use it?

If a loyalty program is in your plan for 2013, keep in mind some of the key elements that keep a customer coming back for more:

1. No Blackout Dates – Let the customer choose when they want to use their rewards. Less pressure means a happier customer.

2. Easy to Use – Travelers have enough on their plate as it is. Don’t add to the headache with difficult terms and navigation. Make it simple and to the point. Give them what they signed up for, nothing more and nothing less.

3. Offer Variety – Not all customers have the same interests. Use this to your advantage by covering a variety of options in your rewards program: airline miles, car rentals, free night-stays, golf outings…the sky is the limit. Mold your rewards to your demographic, sit back, and watch your customer loyalty take off.

Two Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Online Ad Campaign

As a marketer in the travel industry you probably realize online marketing can be complex and watching your budget is most likely your first priority. From blogs and social media to online travel agents (OTAs) and directories it can be a challenge to determine the best places to put your brand’s messages – you’re either striving for extremely qualified leads (which save time and money) or you’re looking to generate a higher quantity of leads (giving you more visibility and better branding). In order to bring clarity to what may seem like an infinite amount of opportunities we determined that Vertical Engine Marketing – with both of its approaches – can bring brands in the travel industry great results.

Read the full article on the VEM Global blog.

Your Greatest Marketing Tool, and Five Things to Do with it Now

Maybe you’re familiar with the term “brand.” And if you’re like a lot of people, you’re saying: “I hear a lot about branding and building my brand. But I’m a small or mid-sized resort, hotel or rental property. I don’t have a brand.”

First things first: everyone who does business has a brand. A brand is the common impression that exists in the minds of every customer who has ever stayed with you, talked with you on the phone, seen you online or heard about you from someone else. And maintaining a good brand is much different in today’s online world than it used to be. More than ever, a good healthy brand is your key to long-term success.

This is actually good news. Part of the beauty of online media is that, unlike TV, radio, outdoor or print, your website can – and should – be involved at every step in a customer’s decision-making process. Here’s how you can be more aware of, and take care of, your online brand.

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Valuable Content Distinguishes Your Brand

Periodically VFM Leonardo emails me with some great videos targeting hoteliers. And since our flagship is ResortsandLodges.com I am always checking these videos out! If you have a chance, watch this 12 minute video on brand awareness. It’s main focal point is that hoteliers need to create VALUABLE CONTENT to help distinguish them from other brands, especially in this hyper-competitive market.
Some key things to remember:
– The average property is viewed 800 times online before they get one booking
– Travel shoppers visit an average of 11 websites during their research
Also, take a look at my previous article “Is your website doing all it can to sell your business?” as this gets into more details on ensuring your website presents your brand in the best manner.

Check out the VFM Leonardo video – it gives great tips!