Destination Brand: The Look and Feel of a Community

We are surrounded by brands. Restaurants, cars, clothes, and more are all around us with their own unique personalities and identities. Where do DMO brands fit in? What makes a good destination brand? Destination branding crafts WHO the destination is by identifying the strongest and most appealing assets in the eyes of visitors and the local community, and creating physical elements that embody those assets. 

Destination Brand Goals

The foundation of a DMO brand is established with brand goals. What is the purpose of a destination’s brand? What are the DMO’s overall objectives? A destination brand should be centered around the answers to these questions. For example, if a goal of your DMO is to promote sustainability and outdoor recreation in your destination, then your brand should heavily emphasize a natural look and feel through environmental advocacy messaging. 

Grounded in Research

The best DMO brands are informed by insights from tourism and traveler data. Stakeholders in a community might have certain perceptions about the value propositions of their destination. However, visitors might see different experiences as the main draw. Leveraging human movement and point of interest data for a destination reveals the most popular elements of a destination and guarantees the brand is grounded in validated information. 

Creative Embodiment

The first impression travelers make about your destination comes from your brand. Getting your colors, logo, typography, and imagery right are vitally important to the success of your marketing. They are the first thing people will see related to your organization, and we know that first impressions lays the foundation for travelers’ perceptions. Taking the time to craft a meaningful and authentic DMO brand will pay off in the long run by opening opportunities to compel visitations. 

A brand captures the look and feel of a destination with visual elements. The logo, color palette, imagery, and design should evoke the community it’s representing. For example, a coastal destination with beaches and nightlife as top experiences should feature bright colors and seaside imagery. 

See how our rebrand captured the look and feel of South Carolina’s Hammock Coast.

More Than Identity 

A DMO brand is made up of features and characteristics that distinguish one destination from another and consists of a logo, color palette, tagline, design, visual assets, messaging, and more. It’s important to highlight that a brand isn’t just the visual identity elements. A destination brand includes how it interacts with its target audiences, tone of voice, values, and mission.

Learn how we brought Visit Carmel’s brand to life through visuals and strategy. 

The Story of Your Destination

A DMO brand should transport people into a different world that opens their minds to new experiences and people. A good brand captures the essence of a community—the feeling it kindles in people—and distills it into visuals, values, and a personality. A brand that tells the story of your destination is a DMO’s best way to build an emotional bond with travelers that compels visitations and garners loyalty.

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