We have developed a brand guide for travel companies called ‘How to set yourself apart‘, which is designed to help you express your brand personality by creating an individual look, language and community. Read on for a snippet of the guide about how using imagery to look the part can help you differentiate yourself in today’s crowded market, or download the entire piece here.
Visual tools are equally important as what your company says and how they say it in making yourself stand out from the crowd and communicate with your kind of traveller.
Travel photography is notorious for being all a bit “samey”. The ease and convenience of stock imagery sites like Shutterstock and Dollarphotoclub mean we can all end up using the exact same pictures to promote our brands.
This is something that is noticed even outside of the industry. Katy Howell, CEO at social media agency Immediate Future, drew up ten photographs from ten different travel advertisements in a social media seminar to demonstrate their stark similarity. The colour schemes, composition, subject matter and saturation in every photograph seemed to be exactly the same, though no doubt each of these tour operators would purport to have a different USP. But, at first glance, how would anyone ever know?
The first step is to subject your own company to this kind of scrutiny. Line up the photography on your homepage alongside that of your three closest competitors. If you were to take away the logos, could you honestly say which imagery belonged to whom?
If the answer is no, then it’s time to re-think how you use imagery to promote your brand. It is every bit as important in communicating the tone and personality of your brand – in some ways, even more so, since we all know that people are prone to skim-read online. Here are a few tips to help you get started:
1. Invest in strong brand guidelines
2. Create a photo ‘hierarchy’
3. Be BOLD
Are any of your clients keen photographers? Ask around and see if you would be able to use any of their pictures in your marketing. After all, this is the best way to showcase what your holidays are truly like, and the participation of happy customers is your brand’s biggest endorsement.
Download the full guide to get examples of how other travel companies use photography really well to attract the right kind of clients. You’ll also find other helpful tips which will help you stand out from the crowd.
This might sound harsh. But if travel companies tried to differentiate themselves based on product alone, it would be impossible.
A brand’s tone of voice is how it says what it says. And, in today’s market, how you say what you say is every bit as important as the content itself.
Visualise your typical client. Or, even better, your ideal client. The client who makes your sales team grin when they’ve finished a conversation, the client who just ‘gets’ your company and is delighted with the service you provide them.