We can all agree the name of the game is creating win-win partnerships that result in stronger relationships and long-term retention of visitors. By differentiating brand voice and delivery, destinations can speak directly to the disparate purposes of travel for disparate audiences. In 2022, it’ll be more important than ever to define your voice and visual brand.
Electrify Your Brand
Following the crowd is not always the best solution — so find your voice. All brands and destinations are unique and are shaped by different goals. You may be asking yourself, “what makes a good destination brand?” The foundation of a DMO brand is defined by its brand goals. Does your brand aim to highlight sustainability? To speak to Gen Z travelers? Whatever it is, a good brand tells the story of a destination to build emotional bonds and garner loyalty.Travelers will form their first impression of your destination based on your brand, so the stories you tell through your campaigns must embody the reasons why people visit your communities.
The “First Handshake”
Travelers form their first impression of destinations based on a DMOs logo, tagline, and colors. For South Carolina’s Hammock Coast, the brand faced two issues: no one knew who they were, and they needed a way to differentiate themselves from Myrtle Beach. After auditing their competitors, we found that their brand needed a facelift. Through utilizing modern fonts, logos, and high-quality images, their brand became more evergreen and better communicated the laid-back atmosphere of the destination.
For Visit Tampa Bay it was important to engage younger travelers and show how Tampa Bay is a great place to live, work, and explore. We took key elements of their DMO brand and integrated them into an economic development focused microsite, MakeItTampaBay.com. Through highlighting the entrepreneurial opportunities in key Tampa Bay industries, we were also able to lean into the destination’s youthful, fun, city-in-the-sun identity.
Embody Your Brand Pillars
The Willamette Valley Visitors Association (WVVA) sought to completely transform their existing brand. Though visitors knew the region for its wine production, WVVA also wanted to lean into highlighting other brand pillars such as agritourism, natural resources, outdoor recreation, and artisan-made products. After redesigning their website and creating a new brand lexicon, in-market and out-of-home advertising and activations were deployed to ensure the brand’s new identity had an impact.
Building Out Your Brand
To tell your destination story, it’s important to develop a creative strategy that’s grounded in research. After defining key markets and competitors, you can begin concepting creative campaigns tailored to resonate with your target audiences.
A dynamic concepting approach DMOs and agencies can use to develop brand narratives are stylescapes. These interactive creative sandboxes let destinations blend their brand identity elements and messaging to tell their brand story. By developing stylescapes and defining brand narratives, DMOs are welcomed into an agency’s creative space to work in tandem to build their new identity.
Be Your Own Kind of Weird
Be different and your own kind of weird — being a unique destination is what makes you stand out. Don’t try to look like everyone else, after all, your brand touches every aspect of your audiences’ engagement with you, and it should be aligned with what makes your destination most appealing. No matter how you wish to communicate the story of your community, Madden is here to help increase consumer consideration, position your destination, and engage travelers of all types.