Destination and Place Branding
Making your destination stand out from the competition
"Any damn fool can put on a deal, but it takes genius, faith and perseverance to create a brand"
(David Ogilvy, "The Father of Advertising", 1911-1999 )
Destinations have personalities, like people. A "sense of place" is what makes them distinctive and memorable. It is the first step in putting a destination on the map. The root of a destination's competitive advantage lies in communicating its core personality - clearly, consistently, and constantly.
Too often countries fail to identify their core personality as a result of political pressure, short-term commercial interests or just being caught up in the whirlwind of everyday business. This risks commoditising a destination and leaving it vulnerable to the first waves of a recession.
We establish your destination's brand personality and identify the steps required to propel your destination into the limelight. We seek to give you an edge over your competitors as well as develop a resilience that will help you weather fluctuations in your source markets.
We do this through consumer research amongst previous visitors and non-visitors. We also talk to important intermediaries, such as overseas tour operators and local stakeholders. We view consultation with your key stakeholders at home as an important part of this process. We also apply our extensive knowledge of good branding practice from around the world.
But we don't stop there. We link the brand to your marketing strategy. We work out how to communicate your brand to the world so that you get noticed. We can also develop techniques, such as a brand toolkit and brand seminars, to help you apply the brand at all key customer touchpoints - "moments of truth". This is what makes the difference between theory and practice.
We consider this bridge between branding theory and marketing implementation to be critical. Otherwise your brand risks being no more than a pretty logo or a set of incomprehensible values. We understand the importance of ensuring your staff and stakeholders understand how to apply it. And we talk their language - because we've been there.