Posts Tagged With: authentic

There are 9 articles tagged with “authentic” published on this site.


What Travel Agencies Can Learn From Starbucks

No doubt, you have a local coffee shop that you absolutely love and that serves better coffee than Starbucks; and I know, friends don’t let friends drink Starbucks. I get it. Starbucks is a mega-chain, an 800-pound gorilla masquerading as a quaint neighborhood establishment. There is a lot of truth in that, except for one thing: Starbucks manages to be both a national chain and yet, at the same time, very local. Read the rest of this entry »

Be Client ecCentric

Readers of TRO know I value highly the concept of authenticity – the idea clients will seek out and choose a travel agent with whom they can identify and trust. A credo of authenticity seeks to fulfill every explicit and every implicit promise made by the travel agent. Making good on your promises is important – authenticity without stellar performance means little. The consumer wants your performance to be well above the norm – to be exceptional to such a degree, in fact, as to be unique. That is why the small services provided to a client throughout the relationship are so important – they can potentially set the authentic travel agent apart from all others. Read the rest of this entry »

Positioning a company, and retaining hard-fought-for positioning, depends on a strong core brand message, clearly articulated. The unique selling point differentiating your company from all others must be clearly and consistently articulated. Like any message, however, branding can be distorted and misinterpreted if not properly transmitted at its source. Read the rest of this entry »

Authentic Marketing for Travel Agents – Trust

Deep within most people is the capacity to inherently understand when a company mirrors their own values. People look for empathy, for a travel planner than has the capacity to best understand their own situation, to honestly assist them in making a buying decision. Great travel consultants think from a client-centric point of view. The emotion such a travel planner seeks most to elicit is trust. That’s why all of the agent’s collateral, demeanor, choices and presentations have to exude a client-centric perspective. Empathy combined with confidence, with a bit of personality thrown in, equals trust. Read the rest of this entry »

How well do your clients understand what you do? The fact is, most of the public operates with a set of misperceptions about travel agents. Consumers, by and large, do not understand the distribution chain, the commission system or the role of the travel agent. This is, of course, the fault of our own industry for failing to properly educate the public on the value of the travel agent. Most consumers view travel agents more as a retail outlet for travel product than a service. As a result, they enter into the relationship with a new travel agent in the same way they might with Wal-Mart. In the context of a retail relationship, the burden is almost completely that of the retailer. The consumer is completely free to bargain, to ask for the retailer to “beat this price”, to research the retailer and go elsewhere. The relationship is one sided in favor of the consumer and almost entirely price-driven. Sound familiar? Read the rest of this entry »

Consumers look for authentic products and services that deliver on promises. It really is that simple. Except travel professionals  sometimes promise the wrong things. They promise the lowest prices. They promise hassle-free travel. They promise across the board expertise. Sometimes the promises are implicit rather than explicit, but the travel agency either intentionally or by omission sets the expectations of the client. To the extent that those promises are met, the client is happy and the agency’s brand is secure. When the travel agency makes the wrong promises, however, reality falls short of expectations and problems ensue. The client does not perceive the travel agent as authentically representing  their services. Read the rest of this entry »

Why are you a travel counselor? Can you provide a short, succinct answer to that question? It is almost a trick question, because if the answer is about your love of travel, your passion for travel, the many places you have been, then we are probably on the wrong track. Your love and passion for travel are certainly important reasons for being in the travel industry, but those qualities don’t speak to why you chose to assist others in their travel ambitions. The more clearly that you can define your core mission, the values you represent as they relate to your clients, the easier the task of representing your travel practice authentically. Your mission is the touchstone for all of your client communications and corporatedecision making – its value cannot be overstated. Read the rest of this entry »

Authentic Marketing for Travel Agents – A reminder

Do your clients know why they do business with your travel agency? Do they have a clear picture in their minds of what your travel practice represents? How about you as a travel agent conducting your own travel practice either as an employee in an organization or as an owner of your travel agency? Can you list your top two or three unique selling points? What type of relationship do you have with your clients? How is that relationship reflected in the conversations you have with clients, your advertisements, your website and your other marketing efforts? The answers to each of these questions goes to the heart of your company’s reason for being. To the extent you can easily answer these questions you are farther down the path to authentic marketing – business conducted from a principled set of core values and client relationships built on trust. Read the rest of this entry »

Selling like it’s 1985?

The consumers of this decade are smarter and better informed than the consumers of the past. Their computer screens are portals into an unbelievably deep and rich world of information. Beyond that, however, today’s consumers have grown up on television, radio and newspapers. They have seen and heard almost every permutation of marketing and sales, both the good and the bad. As a result, today’s consumer can see an inauthentic sales pitch coming from a long distance away, and they want none of it. We need to acquire habits to demonstrate to the market you are a travel consultant worth choosing as their advisor.

You know an inauthentic sales approach when you hear it. You even have names for the type: “slick”, “come-on”, “pitch”. The inauthentic sales person over-promises, looks too hungry and Read the rest of this entry »