4 Great Travel Brand Strategy Techniques Against All Odds

4 Brand Strategy techniques Against All Odds

Last Updated on May 22, 2024 by The Digital Travel Expert

Brand strategy practices serve one goal but involve adopting different channels and actions. Branding seems to be a principle on which both traditional and digital marketing professionals agree.

Indeed, branding is an important aspect of any business. What makes a difference is knowing how and when to implement effective strategies to gain a spot in a crowded market like the travel sector. Conventionally, branding requires a strategic understanding of target audience preferences and behavior, as well as continuous monitoring and adaptation to stay relevant. It’s easier said than done. 

Would you simply tell them, Don’t burn your money? Invest elsewhere. I like the saying:

Don’t wait for the perfect moment; take the moment and make it perfect. 

Conventional branding strategies might be easy to apply to a destination that is already well-known or even popular.  

Travel Brand Strategy Techniques You Need to Know

This article will explore unconventional branding for those starting a business in lesser-known niches, destinations, or fields. It will provide tips and insights on how to stand out and create a unique brand identity in a new market.  To successfully establish and promote a destination that is lesser-known or emerging, innovative and creative branding strategies are essential.

branding strategic techniques to build, develop, and market a product or service in a new niche

Here are four brand strategy principles you need to know to successfully promote a lesser-known or emerging destination. Learn four brand strategy techniques to build, develop, and market a product or service in a new niche and unexplored destination or business field. Invest strategically and profitably!

Brand and Marketing Strategies in Tourism aren’t the same

Somebody outside the travel marketing field will be tempted to put branding and marketing in the same box. As a quick reminder, marketing involves promoting and selling products or services; branding is about creating a distinct and memorable identity or feeling for your business.

In other words, branding is about how people feel about your product or service, while marketing is the tool or channel you use to get them to feel your service and product. 

Brand Strategy and Marketing Strategies aren't the same

In the case of promoting a lesser-known or emerging destination, you need to play smart by adopting a strategic plan and building a strong brand that will convince your target audience. Some successful entrepreneurs argue that people don’t know what they need until you show it to them. This is true for new niches or lesser-known destinations. 

Your role as an entrepreneur is to do due diligence to find out what the new destination can offer and clearly communicate it to your audience. This involves crafting an authentic and compelling brand story.

The goal here is to build a brand story that reflects the unique experiences and values that the new destination has to offer. Creating a strong connection with your audience and your new brand is the first step. The rest of the digital social media marketing and SEO strategies should be built around it. 

Determine your Travel Brand’s Needs and Expectations

Although branding and audience connection are important, it is essential to understand the specific needs and expectations of your company. What is in it that makes clients want to give you money?

In other words, what value do you bring to the table? Clearly speaking, branding will create a feel for your product or service. In return, those who feel good about your product will make you feel good by purchasing from you and giving you money.

Determine your Brand's Needs and Expectations

Going viral isn’t what you need. You need qualified leads who are genuinely interested in your product or service. Only then can you build a loyal customer base and achieve long-term relationships. If you ever plan to use social media in your brand strategy, make sure you don’t fall for vanity metrics. 

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There are brand-viral marketing campaigns that generate a lot of buzz and attention but fail to convert into actual sales. This is because the goal was to reach a large audience rather than targeting the right audience who would be genuinely interested in the product or service.  If you choose to run Google Ads make sure you use the right ad copy.

Every Brand Strategy isn’t Necessarily about short-term ROI

It’s about creating a unique identity and establishing an emotional connection with consumers. If you know brands like Apple or Nike today, it is a result of building brand value and recognition. While ROI is important for entrepreneurs, it shouldn’t be your direct measurement of a successful brand strategy.

Branding is an ongoing company process, or, let us put it this simple way: it is a company culture. Strategies may differ, but the branding culture remains the foundation for a long-term relationship. 

Every Brand Strategy isn't Necessarily about short-term ROI

As you are operating in a new tourist destination or travel niche, aim to establish yourself as a pioneer. With your hard work and strategic efforts, the niche will definitely be known for your brand’s unique offerings and values. New entrepreneurs will see it as a viable business field and will want to join. Make sure to constantly innovate and stay ahead of the competition.

You are the one who explored the travel niche, so you don’t want to be kicked out of the house you built the next morning. You want to establish yourself as a leader in the industry and be the go-to option for anyone looking to enter this field. 

Branding isn’t a once-and-done task. It requires continuous effort and strategic planning to maintain a strong presence and reputation. So your brand strategy needs to set expectations beyond short-term financial gain.

Analyze the Travel Pain Points and Opportunities

The best way to approach this theory is to set a bit aside and analyze the pain points as a client. With an outside eye, you will gain a fresh perspective on your brand and how you can deliver new solutions.

If you were to travel and need x products or services in x destinations, who would win your heart? Definitely, that brand that seems to have read your mind and anticipated your needs and solutions would win your heart.

Analyze the Pain Points and Opportunities

Being able to create a strong emotional connection with customers is the essence of branding. Winning the heart of the client is what every brand strives for. Establish yourself as an authentic problem-solver. You don’t have to manipulate people to meet their necessary needs. 

Your brand strategy should educate, influence, and provide your target audience with valuable solutions to their problems. People are not naive. They may fall into your branding trap once, but it won’t be forever. Once dismasked, they will eventually seek out alternatives that truly meet their necessary needs and provide long-term satisfaction.

FAQs about Branding

What is brand vs. branding?

A brand refers to the overall perception and reputation of a company, product, or service in the minds of consumers. On the other hand, branding or building a brand strategy refers to the strategic process of creating and managing that perception and reputation. It involves activities like designing a logo, developing a consistent brand voice, and implementing marketing strategies to build brand awareness and loyalty.

What is the best definition of a brand?

The best definition of a brand is a combination of a company’s logo, name, and overall image that sets it apart from its competitors in the market. However, a brand is not just limited to its visual elements; it also encompasses the emotions, perceptions, and experiences associated with a particular company or product. In a few words, a brand is the unique identity of a business that resonates with its target audience and builds trust and loyalty.

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Examples of branding strategy techniques

There are diverse brand strategy templates but the first step in branding strategy is conducting market research to understand the target audience and their preferences. Examples of branding strategy techniques include creating a strong brand identity, building brand equity, and engaging in brand storytelling. Those are the elements of a brand strategy that will win the heart of the customer.

What is the full meaning of a BRAND?

If you want to build a brand strategy, you must find a unique way of doing things. If you want to be creative, you can explain the full meaning of the brand acronym as follows: Building Relationships And Nurturing Development.

How do I build a travel brand strategy in a new destination or niche?

Building a strong travel brand for a new destination or niche requires careful planning and strategic marketing. Firstly, it is important to thoroughly research the target audience and understand their preferences and needs. Secondly, creating a unique selling proposition that sets the brand apart from competitors is crucial.

What is a brand strategy?

Defining brand strategy requires a long-term plan that outlines how a company aims to build and communicate its brand identity to its target audience. It involves defining the brand’s core values, positioning, messaging, and visual elements. Well-defined goals in your brand strategy define and guide all marketing and communication efforts, ensuring consistency and coherence in how the brand is perceived by consumers.

Additional resources you might consider: Steps to effective branding

Building a digital strategy

Building a digital strategy for your travel company is not a challenge per se but rather an opportunity for effective brand promotion and reaching a qualified audience. Establishing a recognizable brand requires both strategic business and digital marketing skills like SEO, social media, influencer marketing, and content creation that the entrepreneur doesn’t necessarily possess. Digital experts play a crucial role in making the brand’s voice heard. 

Building your brand internally

To succeed with your new venture, you will need a team that believes in your goal. Otherwise, you will fight two battles at the same time. One battle will be against your competitors( if they exist already), and the other battle will be against internal resistance and skepticism. However, having a team that can challenge you constructively is an asset. Building your brand internally shouldn’t be ignored

Maintaining brand relevance

Our personal or business lives can face many obstacles and challenges. Adjusting branding tactics is one way to overcome these hurdles. However, you will need to ensure you don’t drastically divert from the essence of your brand. Whatever adjustments you make, maintaining consistency and relevance is the key to brand loyalty and connection with your audience.

Integrated travel marketing communication

Digital travel marketing offers a wide choice of communication methods including Organic search traffic, Paid search, Social media, etc… You should be able to define which methods you want to master. It is purely elusive to embrace every method and expect to have a strong connection with your audience. Test and master the channel that works best for your brand.  There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all branding strategy. Every brand is unique and requires a tailored approach.

Leveraging brand assets to enable growth

Leveraging brand assets to enable growth involves identifying and utilizing the unique qualities and strengths of your brand to drive success. This could include leveraging your brand’s reputation, customer loyalty, and distinctive visual elements to attract new customers and increase market share. 

The Power of Travel Content in Building a Brand

Authentic travel content is a powerful tool for building an effective brand strategy in the travel niche. Here are 10 examples illustrating its impact:

1. Personalized Storytelling

Authentic travel content often includes personal anecdotes and experiences, making it relatable and engaging for readers. For instance, a travel blog focusing on solo female travel can share stories of overcoming challenges and finding empowerment, which resonate deeply with the target audience.

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2. User-Generated Content

Encouraging travelers to share their own stories and photos creates a sense of community and trust. For example, a travel company specializing in adventure tours can feature user-generated content on their social media platforms, showcasing real experiences from their customers.

3. Behind-the-scenes insights

Providing behind-the-scenes looks at destinations or travel operations adds transparency and authenticity. A luxury travel niche blog might show the meticulous planning that goes into creating a seamless vacation, highlighting the brand’s dedication to quality.

Ethical Digital marketing for tourism brands

4. Local Expertise

Featuring content from locals or guides who know the destination intimately can establish authority and authenticity. A travel company offering cultural tours could include interviews with local artisans or chefs, giving travelers an insider’s view of the culture.

5. Detailed Travel Guides

Comprehensive and honest travel guides help build trust with the audience. A budget travel blog could provide detailed guides on how to explore expensive cities affordably, including hidden gems and money-saving tips from the blogger’s own experiences.

6. Authentic Visual Content

High-quality, unfiltered photos and videos create a realistic portrayal of destinations. A travel company’s website might use customer photos instead of stock images, showing genuine experiences and attracting potential clients through real-life visuals.

7. Cultural Immersion Stories

Stories that highlight cultural immersion can inspire and educate readers. A travel blog focused on eco-tourism could share experiences of living with local communities, explaining how these trips support sustainable practices and benefit the local economy.

8. Honest Reviews and Testimonials

Genuine reviews and testimonials from travelers can significantly influence potential customers. A travel company could feature in-depth reviews from past clients, including both positive feedback and constructive criticism, to demonstrate transparency and a commitment to improvement.

9. Interactive Content

Engaging readers through interactive content, such as polls, quizzes, and Q&A sessions, makes the experience more personal. A travel blog might create a quiz to help readers find their ideal travel destination based on personal preferences and previous travel experiences.

10. Social Media Engagement

Active engagement with followers on social media platforms can humanize the brand and build a loyal community. A travel company could regularly interact with followers by responding to comments, sharing user posts, and creating engaging stories that showcase behind-the-scenes moments.

Example in Action: Sustainable Travel Blog

For a new travel blog focusing on sustainable travel, the power of authentic content can be exemplified by:

1. Personalized Storytelling: Sharing personal journeys of traveling sustainably, the challenges faced, and the rewards.

2. User-Generated Content: Featuring posts from followers who have adopted sustainable travel practices.

3. Behind-the-Scenes Insights: Documenting the sustainable practices of eco-friendly accommodations and tours.

4. Local Expertise: Highlighting stories from local eco-warriors and conservationists.

5. Detailed Travel Guides: Offering practical tips for sustainable travel, including transport options and eco-friendly activities.

6. Authentic Visual Content: Using photos and videos from real trips to sustainable destinations.

7. Cultural Immersion Stories: Showcasing experiences of living with indigenous communities and participating in local conservation efforts.

8. Honest Reviews and Testimonials: Publishing reviews from travelers who have experienced the blog’s recommended sustainable practices.

9. Interactive Content: Creating quizzes on sustainable travel habits and sharing the results.

10. Social Media Engagement: Engaging with followers by hosting live discussions with experts in sustainable travel.

By leveraging authentic travel content in these ways, the blog can build a strong, trustworthy brand that resonates with its audience and promotes sustainable travel effectively.

Wrapping up

Brand strategy principles are essential when developing a new travel destination or niche in the market. The principles involve clearly defining the target audience, creating a unique brand identity, and effectively communicating the brand’s value proposition. As an entrepreneur, you will need to establish yourself as a pioneer, mitigate challenges, and develop a profitable business. Once you have built a name around your brand, you will need to continuously innovate and adapt to stay on top of your client’s mind and maintain a competitive edge in the industry.

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