How to Keep Your Destination On-Brand

In 2010, destinations, resorts and attractions have an unprecedented array of communication channels through which to share their marketing messages.

  • Traditional mass media advertising
  • Niche market channels
  • Online communications
  • Social networks
  • On-site branding
  • Guerilla efforts
  • Word of mouth marketing

The list goes on

With so many unique messages going out to consumers and customers, how can marketers stay true to their brand’s promise of value? The answer is: with a well-defined brand position, a clear communication of brand values, and a few simple tools to help direct decision-making and inspire the troops.

Let’s face it; communications have changed. In response to media fragmentation and changing consumer habits, DMOs, CVBs, resorts and attractions are rethinking media strategies to leverage ‘owned’ media (their websites, social media channels and the destination itself) in addition to paid media. As the media strategy changes, so too must the messaging strategies. No longer is it as easy as having one message for one audience. Now destinations must have one brand position that can be expressed in many ways for a variety of small, diverse audiences.

Today we’re investing in our own channels to deliver richer communications to fewer people, a trend called ‘narrowcasting’. The goal is to engage the consumer in appropriate and desirable formats, when and where the audience seeks information. Compared to mass media messaging, this one-to-one (or one-to-a-few) approach demands all customer-facing employees – your customer service people, sales reps, marketers, managers, even maintenance workers – to be representatives of the destination.

With so many individuals acting as “the voice of the brand,” maintaining a single, consistent brand message is a greater challenge than ever. This issue of the Wanderlust Report will explore the importance of a solid brand position, and provide some tools and tips for keeping your message on-brand.