Basic principles of promotion and branding

The easy way to understand the creative mix between promotion and branding, avoiding thousands of definitions at the same time, is to think of them as follows:

  • Promotion is about discovering and engaging your customers. It is about making your accommodation visible and available. Through marketing, we are saying: ‘Hey, I am here to offer you what you need, so have a look!
  • Branding is about creating an emotional connection with your customers. It highlights what is special and unique about your accommodation.
  • Branding combines verbal, visual and intangible symbols to express your message. As someone put it – “brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room”.

For more read:

   The visual identity

One of the most important physical attributes of brands are logos and other visual elements (colors, shapes etc.). In order to understand the importance of visual identity, you can try to picture the following:

Everybody is familiar with logos. Think of a logo as a graphic symbol representing your accommodation, used on your website, business cards, stationery, and advertisements or similar. This won’t however mean that by having a logo a brand is automatically born. Brand is larger than logo. It is about associating your business with a specific, recognizable visual look but also with a set of beliefs and life values.

Departing from logo and other visual elements, the notion of brand and branding goes beyond visual elements and includes the ‘story’ you tell, the promise you make, the experience you offer, the words and messages you use, the values and ways of life you promote and support etc.

The visual identity is about the representing the intangible features of your brand with the help of visual elements. If you are an eco-savvy accommodation, you’ll probably have green color in your logo and other visual identity elements.

Therefore, visual identity is about how you visually define and promote your business, yourself and the people working for you. It is the sum of many parts that reach from logos and visual elements such as shapes, colors, symbols, to elements of discourse such as words, phrases, statements that could complement the entire visual position of a company.

Tourism Australia Brand guidelines 2013 gives an excellent overview of national brand and advice on how to apply it to individual products and services

   Marketing techniques and tools

The opportunities in the tourism industry are infinite, but not all tourism businesses are successful. Some cope better and some cope worse with the challenges of the global tourism market. It is very important to find the right mix and balance for your tourism business in order to reach out effectively to different market segments and target groups.

Available tools and techniques are really numerous. There is no recipe actually, as the ‘right mix’ would depend on the following:

• The channels your target market (prospect customers) is using;
• The channels and tools that are best suited for offering your services;
• Your available budget;
• Complementarity and possible synergies between channels used for better and multiplied results.

Here you can find various information, suggestions, tools and techniques (online and offline) that could be helpful in promoting and growing your business.

We will demonstrate two basic marketing approaches with respect to tools, techniques and practices, out of which you can create your own mix.

The two approaches are the following:

a) Traditional marketing approach (paid advertising, direct mailing, print ads, TV/ radio spots, trade shows and sector events, billboards, signs). All of these tools and media are looking into pushing someone to do something, to choose, but sometimes ineffectively enough and requiring high costs. This is formally called ‘outbound marketing’ because you are actually fighting for people’s attention; you ‘travel’ towards them and try to make them notice you in a way.

b) Another approach is to create personalized content for the customer you want to attract; specially designed to be appealing to whom you would call your ‘dream customers’, making them wanting to come and find you. This is why this approach is formally called inbound marketing; this is mostly online, highly personalized and customized!

Keep those two aspects in mind as you continue reading through the rest of the material, and think about how you would categorize tools and techniques respectively!

For more read “Inbound vs Outbound Marketing: What’s Better for Your Business?” (in English)