The fundamental principles of branding have not changed. Brands are still about making and delivering on a valued, differentiated promise. Smart destinations and businesses have always known that brands reside in their consumer’s minds, not in their corporate headquarters or factory. Brands have never been simply what products and places say about themselves. Brands have always been based on perceptions and feelings irrespective of how they have been formed. That hasn’t changed. The touchpoints where and how people form their perceptions have been amplified by the digital world and now sit outside of the total control of the brand owners, including DMOs. The most important component of successful brands has been the delivery of the experiences they promise - and that hasn't changed.
The congestion, noise and abundance of choice in the marketplace means that brands must stand out and represent distinctive values and benefits. Building and maintaining trust has always been important and will continue to be the key force at work in branding particularly given the role of social media.
Marketers must now adjust to, and choose from, more media channels and more brands clamoring for attention. The emergence of new digital assets enables even deeper consumer insights, narrower targeting, narrower messages, greater influence, and the ability to reach customers and make the sale at just the right time. Therefore places must consistently deliver outstanding experiences whenever possible at every critical touchpoint. This is where DMOs must play a more active role in designing, facilitating and monitoring experiences to build relevant and sustainable their brands. Far from being dead, place branding is only now coming onto the radar as a vehicle to enhance the economic and social well-being of communities of all sizes.
Produced by: Total Destination Marketing
Best Selling Book: Destination Branding for Small Cities
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