Lessons from branding a destination

Jaid Hulsbosch

Jaid began his career at Hulsbosch before spending six years in Europe working as business development director with two leading design firms in London and Amsterdam. Returning to Australia in 2010, Jaid re-joined Hulsbosch as a director, responsible for all aspects of business management from planning to HR, new business and partnerships. He takes an active role in promoting Hulsbosch’s creativity, uniqueness, enthusiasm and passion for strengthening client’s business.

Every day, suburbs, towns, states and countries all compete for investment that will help ensure their populations will prosper and thrive. Successful destinations have all paid careful attention to their image, the products they produce and the services they offer. A strong destination brand creates a virtuous circle that makes it a desirable place to live and do business.

In our globally connected world, all destinations are competing not only for tourists but also for export markets, business investment, education services and skilled migrants.

We choose consumer brands because we relate to them, enjoy them and they make our choices easier. Creating a destination brand, is like any other branding opportunity. It is imperative to ensure key messages and tone-of-voice are unique, relevant, strong and consistent, allowing us to build recognition and desirability for the brand.

A logo and tagline is not enough. In its totality, destination branding is a comprehensive visual system composed by colours, topography, formats, supporting graphics and even sounds that can help to build a stronger, compelling and relevant message. And marketers must manage this system consistently.

Over the years, Hulsbosch has provided clients with a competitive advantage for destination brands including the Sydney harbour foreshore sanctuary, the Royal Botanic Gardens; the high-profile urban locality, tourist precinct and historic area, The Rocks in Sydney’s city centre; revitalising the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre venue; and the popular Whitsundays holiday resort, Brampton Island in Queensland.

These experiences have contributed to an essential guide for destination branding, but they’re also a good guide for marketers looking to crystallise any brand in the minds of customers: Differentiation is key. What makes it unique, special and a relevant proposition, thus creating cut-through and greater recognition? Always avoid clichés without losing focus on the destination’s special difference.

Act and think global. Your brand identity and all related promotional activities must appeal across cultural, religious and ethnic groups.

Your friends define you. Destination brands are usually partnered with other brands for promotional usage. For example, iconic beverage brands, Australia’s XXXX beer and one of the highest selling beers in the US, Budweiser are part of destination communication. Tourism Tasmania’s brand partners include RM Williams, Wine Tasmania and Australian Geographic. Make sure your brand is simple and flexible, so it can still be recognised but not dominated by other brand identities.

It’s not just enough to have good ideas and policies. Destination brands need to communicate their values to the world. For example, Tourism New Zealand’s ‘100% Pure’ campaign was testament to a focus on the environment. Partnering with Peter Jackson’s box office movie hits and putting centre-stage picturesque landscapes and breathtaking vistas propelled the campaign to further success. It also projected a worldwide image of the country’s clean, green living.

It is equally important to recognise the pitfalls in destination branding and how to avoid them. Here are a few to consider:

Not having total stakeholder buy-in. These people/entities are the living, breathing advocates of the destination that have influence over the most important touch-points with your visitors. Locals must be able to identify with it and be aligned to the brand’s vision and values.

Failing to keep it simple. Be disciplined and focus on filtering all your various equities to a single, strong value proposition that will resonate with the external customer.

Relying too much on advertising. Yes, advertising is important, but relying on it is setting you up for failure. Invest in your brands strategy and positioning statement. Advertising should only be considered at the implementation stage.

Trying to be something you’re not. Your branding must be based on insightful truths and deliverables, otherwise it’s just hype. Good destination branding matches the aspirations of the residents with the expectations of its visitors. Just like in business, it needs to deliver on the promise of its brand.

Tags: brand strategy

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

More whitepapers

Latest Videos

More Videos

looking for the best quality of SMM Panel ( Social Media Marketing Panel ) is a website where People Buy Social Media Services Such as Fa...

Kavin kyzal

How to manage social media during Covid-19

Read more

Thank you for sharing your knowledge. Definitely bookmarked for future reading! Check this website https://a2designlab.com/ with lots of ...

Pierce Fabreverg

Study: Gen Z are huge opportunity for brands

Read more

Thanks for sharing. You might want to check this website https://lagimcardgame.com/. An up and coming strategic card game wherein the cha...

Pierce Fabreverg

Board games distributor partners with Deliveroo in business strategy pivot

Read more

Such an important campaign, dyslexia certainly need more awareness. Amazing to see the work Code Read is doing. On the same note we are a...

Hugo

New campaign aims to build understanding around scope and impact of dyslexia

Read more

Great Job on this article! It demonstrates how much creativity, strategy and effort actually goes to produce such unique logo and brandin...

Pierce Fabreverg

Does your brand need a personality review? - Brand vision - CMO Australia

Read more

Blog Posts

Ensuring post-crisis success

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed brands’ CX shortcomings and a lack of customer understanding. Given ongoing disruption, customer needs, wants and expectations are continually changing, also causing customers to behave in different ways. Just look at hoarding toilet paper, staple and canned food, medicinal and cleaning products.

Riccardo Pasto

senior analyst, Forrester

A few behavioural economics lesson to get your brand on top of the travel list

Understanding the core principles of Behavioural Economics will give players in the travel industry a major competitive advantage when restrictions lift and travellers begin to book again. And there are a few insights in here for the rest of the marketing community, too.

Dan Monheit

Co-founder, Hardhat

Predicting the Future: Marketing science or marketing myth?

Unicorns, the Sunken City of Atlantis, Zeus: They are very famous. So famous in fact, that we often think twice about whether they are real or not. Sometimes if we talk about something widely enough, and for long enough, even the strangest fiction can seem like fact. But ultimately it is still fiction - stories we make up and tell ourselves over and over until we believe.

Kathy Benson

Chief client officer, Ipsos

Sign in