Written By: Andy Ogg – Editor for Travel Professional NEWS
One of the hardest things when branding or re-branding your business is to ensure that your efforts produce results, but also attract the right clientele. Successful brands don’t change their look often as consistency builds brand recognition and that power is priceless.
If you are new to the industry and just setting up your business or refreshing your image as an experienced Travel Professional, I am going to share 5 things that you should keep in mind when you look at your business and your brand as a whole.
Share Your Story
Sharing your personal story in your business is a powerful tool and not only brings a “personal” feel to your business but also to you, as the business owner. Whether it was a trip to a beautiful beach that ignited your passion for travel or a family cruise through Alaska, don’t hesitate to incorporate your past into your present in terms of your brand and brand identity.
Clients also like to know who they are doing business with so share a bit of you and your story on the “about” portion of your business website. Instead of an address, phone number, and email, share some information about you, your goals and your passions. Clients today prefer to know they are doing business with a person, not just a URL.
Know Your Audience
Whether your niche is river cruising, all inclusive resorts or group travel, knowing who may be your clients is invaluable information. Spend the time and put goals in place to know who you work best with and what types of clients hold the best conversion rates from lookers to buyers. Once you know a bit more about your prime demographic, you can cater your brand and brand identity to reflect that audience.
An example that I have seen used recently that struck me as a home run was an agency that specializes in accessible travel for the disabled. Their logo was great and included a wheelchair in use of an “O” in the lettering. However, their slogan just rocked, “Overcoming Challenges is our Speciality.” This message is simple, concise and to the point.
Creating Brand Ambassadors
Simply put, make your customers so happy with your services that they WANT you to grow and be successful. By treating every single customer like your top account, you will not only gain customers for life, but also create ambassadors for your business and brand. Provide your ambassadors the tools they need like a branded passport holder, branded luggage tags or even better, a business card with a “discount code” on the backside that they can disburse to anyone who inquires how they got on their trip, adventure or location.
I’m sure that you have someone that you may be an ambassador for in your life. Whether it’s your children’s school, mechanic, handyman, golf club or your favorite restaurant, you don’t hesitate to share your passion and love for the business to anyone who asks. Create the same rippling effect with your clients by proving, time and time again, the value, care and passion you put into their trip planning.
Keep it Simple
One of the largest mistakes made in branding is to over complicate. Maybe it’s a logo trying to involve 13 items into it or text that is non legible, keeping it as simple as possible is the best advice to follow. One marketing firm suggests that if your logo, business name and slogan can’t be read in 3 seconds, it’s not effective.
Ensuring that your logo and brand identity, not only coincides with your speciality but also represents your business effectively, is key. Using a design service like 99designs.com or fiverr.com can provide tons of options for a minimal investment. Do yourself the favor and spend the extra time in creating your brand identity that you don’t just like, you LOVE.
With services available with the click of a mouse, branding everything from document holders, pens, neck pillows, travel blankets, and so on is a breeze. You’ll be surprised to find that the cost of ordering a custom branded item is only pennies more than buying a generic item, especially if you order in bulk. Creating a “Have a Good Vacation” package to deliver to your clients before their departure could be a very small investment, yet yield excessive rewards.
Additionally, every single correspondence with prospective, current or past clients should hold 3 things.
- Your Name
- Your Business Name, Logo and Slogan
- Your Methods of Contact (Cell / Email / Text / Website / Social Media)
By including these items in your correspondence, you make it 100% easier for them to get in touch, no matter the time or place. My wife and I have a tendency to make decisions at random times, whether it’s 10 PM in bed or 4 PM on the beach with our daughter. Once our mind is decided, we react instantly and having the above information readily available has made the action much easier. Make it easy for your clients by including it everywhere you can.
Thanks for your time and I hope that this information provides some help to you, your business and your brand. Until next time, keep consistent and keep branded!
Editor l Sales and Marketing Director
Travel Professional NEWS