24/10/2016

The journey through the travel branding

Author: Marijana Brdovnik - Date: 24/10/2016

travel branding

Brand in travel and tourism needs to tell a story, to arouse emotion, to inspire and to motivate the loyalty, and before all to bring to life those special feelings which will make clients feel happy. Brand has to be supported by an attractive logo backed up with a unique and clever brand name as well as creative slogan that tells “a thousand words”. After all the brand has to be followed by loud and targeted promotion activities and mouth to mouth publicity. Travel branding  is a process that has to be not only creative but also meaningful.

 

branding process

 

 Quality creative brief

When we talk about travel branding process there are few actions that should be considered as a leading notes or better say questions that you have to ask yourself before you give the creative brief to the branding agency:

  • Background of the brand – is there any history that can be used in the brand story? Is the brand already known in some way or not? Is it known for what you want it to be known for?
  • Analysis of the competition – What are your competitors doing better than you? What are you doing better than them? What features do you want to stand out?
  • Brand objectives – What is the one single thing that you wish to communicate? What communication message do you want to send/advertise?
  • Target Audience – Who do you want to talk to? Who are your primary and secondary audiences? Are there other stakeholders whose needs you should consider?

Brand has to have in mind the total target group and be positioned to implicate a better value for money than the competition. Brand reputation is imperatively based on the quality of the offer, tourist satisfaction, employee communications, and social responsibility. Building a tourism and travel brand also requires answers to the following questions: What are the main things I like about the brand? How does it make me feel? How would I describe it in one sentence? What makes it different from all other brands?

 

brand creating

 

Bringing brand to life

Bringing the brand to life is often the most challenging aspect of travel branding. In this process you have to look in two different directions: applying the brand in marketing communications and living the brand in terms of client’s behavior.

After brand objectives were fully discussed with brand owner, and after detailed creative brief was given to the branding agency follow a creative thinking of a story of the birth, story of the existence, and story that will follow the brand through all the phases of its being and its values. We all know how storytelling is important in contemporary marketing world, and it is crucial when creating new travel brand. When you sell services storytelling must be even more marvelous than when you sell products.

After detailed analysis of the competition and having in the mind brand objective, branding specialist have to come with an idea how to make a brand unique and how the brand will differ from the others. The duty of leading travel brands is a perfect adaptation to the dynamic needs of passengers/guests and skillfully meeting their emotions. Also the success of brand is measured through competitiveness, dynamism and the relevance.

 

brand story

 

Key parts of the brand story

Before you get to the final logo of the brand and slogan that will tell the majority of brand promise to the world, branding specialist has to put their creative energy on the following areas that are all the key parts of the brand story.

  • Brand challenge or how to successfully tell the world who you are and what do you stand for.
  • Brand positioning and the brand story – successfully defining the brand image and the brand personality. (e.g. accessible, luxurious, adventurous, fun, recharging, vibrant, natural, challenging, surprising, calm and relaxation…)
  • Tone of voice – How do you want your message to sound? Specify the tone of voice to be used in marketing communications that reflects the brand values (e.g. modern, wild, passionate, sensual, calm, conservative…) Achieving the right tone of voice is one of the most important ways that the brand can engage with the potential visitor.
  • Key idea of the brand which has to show the main principles of the brand and what is the key note that will lead the brand in the future.
  • Brand promise – what will the brand bring to its followers and how will accomplish expectations of target groups.
  • Key messages of the brand that will be communicated across different marketing channels.
  • The psychology of the colors should be adjusted with  the brand message and the key idea of the brand.
  • Story of the name that will truly follow the visual elements, brand messages and values. Before all, when choosing the name it is important to be unique, and as much as possible to tell the story of your brand in that short phrase.

logo design

 

The role of a logo

A logo must be immediately impactful. As a general rule, if a designer has to explain what the different components and colors of the logo represent, then it is quite obvious that the logo is not serving well. It has to be a symbol that people come to recognize over time as representing something that is quite familiar to them. Recognition ensures impact, and continued use of the logo should bring the same positive feeling over and over again.

The essential qualities of a logo should be: simple, clean, and distinctive, impactful and memorable. In logos world it is also good to apply the same old very know rule “less is more”. An outstanding logo is one that captures the very essence of what your company is all about.

It is important not to judge a logo in isolation. Logos are always linked to photography or text about the brand in advertisements, websites, brochures, and other promotional materials. It is therefore important to put logo into context of the communication.

 

brand slogan

 

Key points of a slogan

Slogans are optional, not essential. It can be additional information about the brand and stand as a grace close to the logo itself, but if it doesn’t show anything but some often see marketing phrase then you can go without it.

Sometimes slogans can be used for different campaigns for different segments and in different countries, without destroying any brand values. But the logo itself is the important constant that doesn’t depend on the slogan. Slogan is a short catchphrase that is intended to convey your brand promise in less than five small memorable words.  Slogan reflects what every traveler wants from their next holiday.  It has to evoke emotion and encourage the visitor to book their holiday straight away.

 

communication strategy

 

Communication challenge in travel branding

Who is your ideal client? Where do you find your ideal client? What are clients expectations? Integrating the brand into marketing activities means being clear about the strategic message that needs to be communicated. The strategic message is based on the brand values. The brand value with the strategic message should run through all marketing activities, no matter how small those activities are. It is important to make an impact whatever channel you use, and always think as far and as wide as possible. Try to be different from your competitors and get to know your target groups and their behavior in any aspect important in deciding about holiday choice. Until you have a well defined brand identity you can’t move forward, and even the perfect designed website will not be enough to attract the right visitor.

On the other hand those that are well branded have a visual identity to reinforce what they are offering, and then the brand message is clear and accessible to the visitor.

A well defined brand covers everything about the company and highlights its unique selling points. It makes things crystal clear for the reader by use of an appropriate logo and slogan, right through to a well branded website and brochure.

 

communication strategy


Communication strategy in travel branding should always follow few simple rules:

  • Clear definition of products and services
  • Visual strength and creativity
  • Great engaging points
  • Be informative but interesting
  • Be clear and true with prices and special offers
  • Have clear call to action

Branding agencies can develop the story of the brand and define all the important features of the brand in a brand book. But in the end this is all theory of the brand,  and theory of image, personality, essences and values as they should be.

 

travel branding

 

This “theory” should always be well done in praxis, and unless those guidelines are clearly understood by the brand managers, and clearly explained to brand partners they will not convey the true excitement and appeal of the brand to potential visitors.  As always it is important to be committed, put a lot in a creative marketing strategy and circle your brand message with outstanding PR dedication. Applying the brand values in marketing communications is important. But it is even more important what kind of experience  clients have when they use the services that brand provides. As we all know nothing destroys a brand image as quickly as a bad experience.

The travel industry is highly competitive so you need to get your brand right. Redesigning is always an option, but why not make a first impression count long-lastingly!

Do you need to create a brand image and visual identity? Get in touch with us!

Photo Credits: Ian SchneiderJonathan SimcoeHope House PressRhondaK Native Florida Folk Artist, Roksolana ZasiadkoGert Boers, Annie SprattCameron Kirby – Unsplash images