Those were the days recalled by “Mad Men.” Brand identity and communications then were pretty much a one-way communication from the company to the public. The brand delivered information to the public through television or through the newspapers and we accepted pretty much what ever we were told. Those might have been simpler times, but I think perhaps a bit naïve and not as interesting as today.
That can be great news for the travel consultant. To the extent that you can infuse your conversations with your own personality, to the extent that you can achieve a rapport by earning their interest in your corporate message and ethic, you can gain a following and the loyalty of your clients.
Consumers value authenticity and authentic marketing is all about your personality, your company ethic – those things for which you and your travel practice stand. You have a mission that you feel is important enough to represent in the form of a business. For better or worse, your travel practice over time starts to look familiar, walking, talking, and looking a lot like you.
So if all of this is true, why do so many travel agents insist on hiding their personalities behind the corporate logos of suppliers? I continually observe agents tweeting one “travel special” after another, filling their Facebook pages with barely disguised advertising and web pages that look like a Las Vegas of cruise line ads and “deals.”
Not only does this type of marketing overly focus on price, it hides the personality of the travel consultant behind the larger images of the supplier.
Here’s what we forget – the consumer can buy travel anywhere. YOU they can only get from YOU. You are unique. You cannot be found cheaper on the internet. You are the product, not travel.