Travel agents can surround themselves with all of the accoutrements of a travel planning practice, with plenty of supplier product and subscriptions to periodicals, memberships in consortia and posters on the wall. But unless a travel consultant also develops a solid sense of their own brand, they will forever struggle to market themselves appropriately.
Every travel agent needs a unique selling point (USP) that differentiates them from the competition. The unique selling point may be the agent’s familiarity with a destination or a theme, it could be the agents’ contacts, tenacity, enthusiasm or passion. The travel agent’s USP might be some business practice that in some way ensures the success of their travel planning activities for clients. Is there something about your business that is so unique that customers would do business with you based on that one quality alone? If so, you have located your USP and are on the way to better understanding how to build a smart marketing campaign based on that uniqueness. Make certain, however, to define your USP so it stresses the benefit to the client, not just as feature of your travel practice.
But a USP is only one-half of the brand equation. Travel consultants also need a mission statement – a reason for being in the business of travel consulting. A mission statement challenges the business person to define who they are vis-a-vis their clients. A mission statement answers the simple question “What do you stand for?” Together, your USP and Mission Statement make up your Brand Message – a promise to your clients that clearly defines who you are and why they should do business with you.
Being able to clearly articulate your Brand Message is vitally important. Otherwise, clients will not grasp the essential reasons for using you over an online booking engine or any other travel agent. Without a Brand Message and a clear articulation of your USP, everything comes down to happenstance or, worse yet, price.
Integrate your USP and Mission Statement into all of your marketing collateral – make it a central focal point of your brand. Hold your brand out for the world to see and you will have fashioned for yourself a unique positioning in your client’s eyes.
Tomorrow– No Budget