“A brand is not a function of marketing. It is the very foundation of your business.“ - Mahesh Enjeti  (SAI Marketing Counsel) “The place brand is also integral and inseparable from the overall business strategies of the city’s marketing portfolio (i.e. tourism, investment and relocation).” - Bill Baker  (Destination Branding for Small Cities)
developtourism.com
ABOUT BRANDING
CITY, PLACE & DESTINATION BRANDS SOME TRADITIONAL MISCONCEPTIONS (A TOURISM BRANDING ‘MUST READ’) Many unhelpful misconceptions can surround branding ... and tourism destination branding in particular. Unfortunately these can result in wasted (and sometimes tragically expensive) allocations of money, time and effort. So it is important to approach any branding initiatives with eyes wide open. By way of a small example: If your community aims to connect with people by claiming it is “A great place to live, work and play”, then sadly - in terms of such promotional efforts ‘setting yourself apart’ - you are not alone. A simple Google search using these words reveals over 4 million results! Thousands of communities also see themselves this same way, with many having either used this slogan as a tagline ... or worse still attempted to build a ’unique’ brand around it. Internationally respected, destination branding specialist and Associate Consultant, Bill Baker of TDM addresses this dilemma (and obviously common mistake) in greater detail in his popular blog here. Lesson: Stressing the key destination branding lesson arising, he advises - “This is where you have to dig deeper to uncover the true essence of the place that will be both valued and meaningful to target audiences.” Powerful and successful brand strategies are never achieved ‘on the cheap’ either, via such misconceived (and flawed budgeting) methods as running a community competition - with a prize given for the best idea.  What brands are not: The added problem here is that the very nature of what is a brand is being misunderstood. Logos and taglines are not in themselves brands, nor are they comprehensive brand strategies. Far from it! As cues or physical symbols and consistent reference points for a brand and place, they are mainly designed to help trigger the positive associations that come to surround the qualities and distinctive positioning the brand strategy itself has thoroughly identified. Which comes first: So, logos and taglines are something best developed as a result of creating a brand strategy ... not the other way round. The brand strategy does not flow from the logo, or the tagline. And underlining this point, it is often not realized that one world-leading brand name, Starbucks, doesn’t even bother with a tagline ... instead choosing to use a logo only, and obviously to no apparent ill effect. Specialty, tourism industry-based knowledge of how tourism works ... and how destination brands (in particular) are best determined, let alone implemented ... is always essential for real success. (More on why ‘biggest’ is not always best too.) Attempts to cut corners with brand strategy development are ultimately self defeating. An instant, ‘drive-thru’ means of creating a truly credible, versatile and effective brand has yet to be developed! And never will be. Getting the professional relationships right: All the traditional advertising-oriented design work commonly performed by Advertising Agencies (their real specialty) is something that a real tourism brand strategy, created by real specialist tourism professionals, helps to focus and direct. The key point being that, again, this design work in itself is not a brand strategy. (To think otherwise is putting the cart before the horse.) It also pays to understand that too much marketing theory is specifically tied to the marketing and branding of tangible (or physical) products - a context divorced from the more challenging realities of marketing tourism. Tourism is a challenging industry, focused around experiences, services & places - and these require truly specialist branding knowledge and skills.
VISITOR EXPERIENCE AUDITS VISITOR EXPERIENCE AUDITS COMMUNICATION REVIEWS COMMUNICATION REVIEWS TOURISM STRATEGY PLANS TOURISM STRATEGY PLANS DESTINATION BRANDING (2) TOURISM WORKSHOPS TOURISM WORKSHOPS
   CAPABILITIES
INTEGRATED TOURISM PLANS INTEGRATED TOURISM PLANS KEY PLANNING PRINCIPLES KEY PLANNING PRINCIPLES
© Tourism Development Solutions 2012
Specialists in: Destination Audits and Tourism Assessments  Visitor Experience & Market Communication Reviews Tourism Strategy Plans and Niche Market Development   Destination Positioning and Branding READING: Small City Branding Around The World  Bill Bakerís Blog Unique?
RESOURCES RESOURCES