In this guest posting, our intern from the US Angelina Colone reflects on what she’s learnt about regional branding during her time with us
If you don’t already have a brand – it’s time to get one
Currently, encouraging growth in regional travel is a hot topic around the world – especially as many iconic destinations face the risk of over-tourism. In Australia, it is high on the political agenda, but Visit Britain has launched a campaign to drive regional dispersal. At MyTravelResearch.com we have focused on this idea for a while (for example MTR Subscribers can check out our content on ‘Regional Branding” Recently, I attended TNS’ Domesticate 2018 press launch which this year focused on driving regional dispersal as well. Here are the key ideas that were discussed in the session.
Many people travel to certain areas because it is a part of an interesting area or region, which is why using regional branding to create that impression is so important. Having an established regional brand can help both the area and future travelers. People will be able to find information that supports the regional brand and you want previous visitors to support that brand both of which will drive your trust, reputation, and authority in search. The culture or scenery around an area can be a part of the brand that people want to see.
Top 3 tips for regional brands
Be wary of language – talk experiences not destination
It is important to make sure you are talking about the experiences a person would get out of visiting a place, instead of the destination. A person will be more interested if they are seeing something they personally can visit or something they can emotionally feel. Showing that something can bring a family together or bring joy to people can be an important factor. When you talk about just the destination itself, the consumer may not be able to relate as well. When an area seems relatable, a person may feel as if they would fit in and are meant to go there. By just showing a place people may be interested in, there is not a full sense of what they may get out of traveling there.
Stop talking about regional travel
A person wants to hear about something that sounds intriguing, so calling it regional travel does not work. Showcase what different places have to offer instead of just the region that is being advertised. Each place has something different to give so it is important to show how each place stands out.
Destination branding should encapsulate your point of difference
The brand of a destination should properly showcase the experiences a person will have. You want people to be able to understand what your brand is and what experience it is going to give people. It gives locations the opportunity to target the audience they are looking for by showing the area’s most appealing characteristics. You want to demonstrate how that region fits the traveler’s needs.
By applying these ideas and principles, regions can greatly benefit in many ways. Showing consumers what they actually want to see and making content more relatable rather than just letting people know about the destination makes the experience more personal and memorable. Communicating what an area has to offer in a way that demonstrates the personal experiences travelers will have will engage them far more.
Angelina Colone is an international marketing student on a 3-month internship with MyTravelResearch.com in Sydney from Oswego University in NY, USA.
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