What is a tourism brand strategy?

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Yesterday we introduce the idea of a brand strategy and suggested that if you don’t have a brand strategy for your tourism business, you are probably doing your marketing all wrong.

This article will expand on this idea and hopefully also convince you that it is indeed critical for your marketing and business as a whole.

Why is a Brand Strategy crucial for your Tourism Business?

If you have ever watched professional sport, you’d be familiar with the idea of coaches having a plan for every game the team plays.

There is probably no professional code in the world where a high-level coach wouldn’t have a strategy going into a game.

They wouldn’t pick a team or brief the group before they do.

It would not be smart to put a team on the field without a strategy to win the game.

Attack. Defend. Rush. Exploit this weakness. Leverage this strength. Whatever it is, there is a strategy that everyone agrees on and executes together.

Every time you advertise, any time you post on Facebook, and any time you interact with a customer without a brand strategy is like being a coach sending the team onto the field without a plan.

No successful team in history would have ever done that.

So what is a brand strategy?

It is a statement and set of guiding principles that lead all decision making in your business.

It should be authentically you in every way. It should tip it’s cap to the past yet clearly articulate the aspirational brand you’re trying to build at the same time.

What is an example of Brand Strategy?

When I teach brand strategy, I often cite GoPro as a great example of Brand Strategy in action.

If you’re not familiar with the brand, GoPro is the highest-selling small handheld action camera in the world.

I’m not in their marketing team, but as a specialist working in this space, I think I can reverse engineer something that would resemble close to their brand strategy.

It would be this – ‘We make the customer the hero of their own story.’

How does it influence decisions in the business?

If we agree to accept this is the brand strategy for GoPro, what does it mean for their marketing and operations?

Everything they do, they make the customer the hero.

Their social media content is user-generated or from their GoPro family (influencers running around with the gear).

They provide incentives to users to share the content and allow them to repurpose it. It is a self-perpetuating cycle.

Users share amazing content. New people are inspired to buy a GoPro to capture amazing moments. New users share amazing content. Newer people are inspired to buy a GoPro. So on…

Pretty cool strategy, right?

But that doesn’t even go close to demonstrating the influence of the brand strategy.

GoPro’s hardware and software are the best in the business by a long shot. The incredible quality gives layman users the ability to create great content without being a pro with the camera.

If they couldn’t produce this quality, they couldn’t inspire the next batch of new users, could they?

It’s in their name – Go ‘Pro’. It’s in their tagline, ‘Be the Hero’.

I’m tipping if you interacted with their customer service team. You’d feel it there.

When a brand strategy is adopted and communicated in your tourism business, it should lead all decision-making, not only marketing decisions.

To be effective, it has to be baked into everything you do.

Next, we look at how to approach creating your own.


'An Absolute Must-Do'; the Book.

A concise framework to build a tourism business that people love, pay more for, and rave about.