Helping You take Ownership of Your Brand and MissionJuly 14th, 2013 . by Richard Earls
Let’s state definitively we are all the owners of our own brand, our own “company” called “me, myself and I”. This was the insight of Tom Peter’s famous 1997 article “The Brand Called You.” The success of social media platforms like Linkedin was largely presaged by the notion of the individual as a brand. With that in mind, we need to consider how we promote and monitor our individual brands.
Is it too much to think every travel consultant, whether an employee or owner, should have their own mission statement separate and apart from the company for which they work? Even as an employee, you are building your own brand. Your relationships with clients are your own. Too often, I am sure, the marketing advice TRO writes for agents each day seems all too much addressed only to the owners of agencies. However, the contributions you are making for your company can be made by nobody else. To the extent you develop your skill-set and your competence, you enhance your own reputation and brand, making you a more valuable employee. If you own your own company, whether a large agency or as a home based agent, the skills you develop contribute directly to the success or failure of the enterprise, but they arise from a set of ethics and principles far deeper.
The Latin root of the word “corporation” is “corpus”, literally, “body”. Each of us plays a role in a company, and the contribution of each is valuable. If you are an owner, chances are you have already developed a mission statement for the company, you have a logo and a color palette, all of the accoutrements of being in business we discuss daily here. But each of us, owner and employee alike, needs another set of symbols around us – a coat of arms, if you will, that defines our mission as individuals. Because the sense of self is the real story within the story of the company. It is the individual passions we feel for travel, for the way that we earn our living, that we communicate to our clients, that makes them believe that we are worthy of their trust and respect.
You deal daily in assisting people achieve their travel dreams, of building the experiences that they will talk about their entire life. That is a worthy enterprise, one of which you can be very proud, and you do it for reasons that are entirely your own. Mission statements are not for companies only…they are for individuals as well. If you were to develop your own logo, what would it look like? If you had your own mission statement, what would it be? To the extent you better understand the answer to those questions, the greater clarity you will carry into every professional effort.
Next week TRO will be releasing another supplier supported tool to assist agents in building their own brand. We are producing a series of promotional videos for travel agents to use on their websites and in their social media efforts. Travel agents will be able to insert their own logos and contact information at the end of each video. Above you will see one such video. Note, don’t share this one yet! It has “DEMO” watermarks. Wait for the release of the real deal next week!
TRO has its own mission - to assist travel agents in their professional development. For that reason, we provide a range of marketing tools at no cost to travel agents, a complete departure from the previous models that asked the travel agent to pay for destination reports and marketing tools. We want to be a part of your company, to assist you in achieving your corporate and personal mission. If you can think of a marketing tool that you need but don’t have, let us know. We want you to have the tools you need to succeed.
In turn, we ask that travel agents appreciate the marketing efforts of our advertisers…to give due consideration to the efforts of the suppliers who pay for the destination guides, articles, videos, webinars and training we provide. Click on their ads and explore their offerings. Let them know you appreciate their participation here. If you don’t see a company on TRO that you think should participate, write the company and tell them. The more support TRO amasses, the more free tools we can provide to travel agents.
TRO makes a sincere effort to work with suppliers with good product and a solid track record of working with travel professionals. If you see a supplier advertiser on our site, you can rest assured that the supplier has made it possible for agents to use our marketing tools for free. That seems like a fair trade to me, and one that allows each agent, owner or employee, to assume a greater role in taking ownership of their destiny. TRO has a real desire to be the best marketing partner travel agents have. Keep us on our toes and let us know how we can better fulfill our mission of helping you fulfill your own.