Be Bold With Branding

It is better to be different than simply better, according to Christopher Engl (Managing Director, Brand Trust GmbH)

OUTLOOK KEYNOTE: DESTINATION BRANDING: CREATING DESIRE FOR TRAVEL

Category: ITB Destination Day 3

Date: March 10, 2017 Time: 5:00 pm – 5:30 pm

Location: Hall 7.1a, Auditorium New York 1

Speaking to ITB Berlin News, Christoph Engl (Managing Director, Brand Trust GmbH) explains how important destination branding is – creating a powerful brand out of a geographic name.

Often there is a great misunderstanding between des t inat ion branding and destination marketing. Branding is about three questions: Who are you? Where do you want to go in the future? Which tools help you to manage your brand? You have to know your values and your character first, then you can focus on what makes you different in comparison to your competitors. Branding is the basis for marketing! Destination marketing is about communicating your character as well as your positioning. If you don’t know your character, a large marketing budget doesn’t help to clarify it.

Do you feel DMOs could do better when it comes to explaining their USPs to travel and tourism professionals?

DMOs can do better by not only focussing on marketing. The big virus in the tourism industry – more than in any other industry – is imitating competitors by trying to use better pictures, claims and logos. In the end, for the customers it looks all similar; they do not know what to choose, and why. You have to be different not better! This is hard work and also very risky.

Can you give us an example of a bold branding success story?

Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis in Austria. Those responsible for this destination made a very bold decision 20 years ago: they decided to focus on families as a target group. They started to develop a destination with hotels specialised toward families, with family-friendly cable cars and ski schools, and a transport system connecting the villages like a tube. Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis is now THE family destination in The Alps. Focusing helps to give you a clear profile as a brand; extending offers for too many target groups weakens a destination´s brand