Branding a Destination in Crisis

“More Than Just a Logo,  Less Than Rocket Science”
Athens Convention Bureau Athens Convention Bureau 22nd Feb 2012
Tom Buncle, Managing Director, Yellow Railroad

• Managing Director, Yellow Railroad
• CEO, Scottish Tourist Board CEO, • Visit Britain: USA, Scandinavia, Southeast Asia • C Consultancy: Consultancy: lt
destination branding/marketing strategies tourism policy community / eco-tourism strategy ecoorganisational development & crisis recovery

• Writer & lecturer on destination branding g, & marketing, travel trends • Associate in Greece:

Consultancy Projects
Bosnia Nice, France Norway Dominica


Kenya‐ Kenya‐Laikipia












Yorkshire, England

1. Some thoughts on “crisis” 2. What is a brand? 3. 3 Why brand a destination? 4. How do we form impressions of other p p places ? 5. Destination branding: “do’s” and “don’ts” 6. When to refresh the brand? 7. Implications for Athens

1. Some Thoughts on “Crisis”

“Crisis – What Crisis?”

“Danger” + “opportunity” g pp y

Realism + mindset + focus = way forward

“Crisis – What Crisis?”

Media Power

International Herald Tribune 22 Feb 2012

“Crisis – What Crisis?”

    

Clear Quick Q i k 24 / 7 Credible Honest

“Crisis – What Crisis?”

“Crisis – What Crisis?”

“ YES! Athens is safe” 17 June 2011, 23:22

2. What is a Brand?

Destination Branding: What’s It All About?
“Any damn fool can put on a deal, …………………………but it takes genius, faith and perseverance to create a brand”

David Ogilvy, The Father of Advertising, 1911-1999

• Personality • Distinctive • Memorable

* Distinguish from competitors g p * Build loyalty * Premium price

FUNCTIONAL……. “D FUNCTIONAL “Does it work ?” k EMOTIONAL…… “How does it feel ?” SELF – EXPRESSIVE… …………….“Is it me ?”

British Ai B iti h Airways
• • • • • • • Traditional Conservative Formal Unexciting Big Suit & tie Blue
Reliable: • A–B • Safe • Punctual

Virgin Vi i
• • • • • • • Unconventional Anti - establishment Innovative Fun Young Open –necked shirt Red



Pepsi tastes better, but Coke sells more :

Blind test  51% prefer Pepsi  44% prefer Coke

Open test
 


23% prefer Pepsi 65% prefer Coke

* * * * * * *

Product ? Logo ? S oga Slogan ? Image ? Marketing campaign ? Design style ? Spirit / essence / DNA ?
• Makes us different • Makes us stand out

“Competitive Identity”

The DNA of a Place
“Sense of Place Place”




The DNA of a Place
Place Produce People

• Scenery • Public realm • Public art • History • Architecture

• “Own” products

• Culture • Attitude • Accent • Reputation • Famous / infamous

Branding is different from marketing: g g

* *

Branding = who you are – personality essence personality,

Marketing = how you communicate this to your customers

What is a Brand?
“You do not change people’s perceptions of a country You people s with advertising. You change people’s perceptions by finding the truth finding an idea truth, that embraces that truth and putting it through everything they do”
Wally Olins
Logo Imagery Behaviour

Design style

Marketing campaigns Website Brochures, print etc.

4 Principles p
• • • •
Branding is not rocket science Branding is no substitute for substance Your brand already exists. It just needs clarification, commitment & communication A brand is not budget-dependent. Communicating it g p g is what costs

What is a Destination Brand?
• • • •
“A destination brand is the mix of the core characteristics of the place that make it distinctive and memorable. It is the enduring essence of the place that makes it different from all other places (and competitors). Importantly, the brand exists in the eyes of the beholder. It , has to be credible and real, it cannot be manufactured. It is the way in which a destination nurtures, develops and presents its core characteristics to its main audiences that enables it to establish, reinforce, or even eventually change its reputation
Source: Yellow Railroad

3. Why Brand a D ti ti ? Destination?

Why Brand a Destination? y

“In the globalised world in which we now live, every In place has to compete with every other place for share of mind, share of income, share of talent, share of voice. voice Unless a place can come t stand for something, it U l l to t d f thi stands little chance of being remembered for long enough to compete for any of this precious attention attention. Most of us spend no more than a few seconds each year thinking about a country on the other side of the world.”
(Simon Anholt, Branding Places and Nations)

Why Brand a Destination? y

“So, unless that country always seems exactly like itself every time it crops up, ……………………… there is little chance that those few seconds will ever add up to a preference for its products, a desire to go and visit the place, an interest in its culture, or, if we were prejudiced beforehand a change of heart ” beforehand, heart.

(Simon Anholt, Branding Places and Nations)

4. How D W H Do We Form Impressions of Other Places?

How Do We Form Impressions of Other Places ?
• Export brands • P Promotion of trade, tourism, i i f d i inward i d investment and inward recruitment • Domestic and foreign policy • I Iconic public fi i bli figures • Events • How citizens behave when abroad …………. and h d how th t t strangers at h they treat t t home

How Do We Form Impressions of Other Places ?

Bush era

How Do We Form Impressions of Other Places ? Obama inauguration

How Do We Form Impressions of Other Places ?
• Built and natural environment • World media coverage • Membership of international organisations • Other countries it associates with • Cultural expression – inclusive/exclusive • Sport and entertainment p

5. Destination Branding: “Dos” and “Don’ts”

Destination Branding :“Must – Dos” Destination Branding :“Must – D ” D ti ti B di “M t
• Destination strengths - audit • Core values & essence - brand • Customer perceptions - research • Residents’ buy-in • Competitor analysis • Objectivity / honesty • Focus Distinctive • Qualitative research • Consultation

Impact / memorable !!

Destination Branding : Risks
• Stakeholder interests • Political compromise • Dishonesty • Unclear thinking Bland  Indistinct


Destination Branding – The Harsh Reality

* Perception is more powerful than reality * People are less interested than you think * You can’t avoid the truth

Clarity, focus, honesty

Delivering the Promise *
Unspo Unspoilt nature:

Delivering the Promise *
Unspo Unspoilt nature:

Delivering the Promise *
Unspo Unspoilt nature:

Delivering the Promise

Destination Brand Values
New Zealand
• Natural

• Active

Destination Brand Values

Friendly – Fun – Welcoming – Traditional – Contemporary

Ireland _Discover Your Very Own TV ad (2007-2011)

Destination Brand Values
India • E ti Exotic • Mysterious • Sensual

Destination Brand Values
India • E ti Exotic • Mysterious • Sensual

Destination Brand Values
India • E ti ? Exotic? • Mysterious? • Sensual?

Destination Brand Values

Las Vegas (Sep 2010)

6. When to Refresh the B th Brand? d?

Destination Brand Fashion Curve
Fashionable F hi bl Famous F Familiar F ili Fatigued


Morgan & Pritchard, Destination Branding: Meeting the Destination Branding Challenge, Elsevier 2004

Rebranding Spain
From commodity….. to “cool” y

Rebranding Spain g p

Rebranding Colombia
From pariah state ………… to progressive economy

Rebranding Colombia
• Safety • Domestic tourism – “rutas seguras” • Infrstructure investment • Reform – taxation, business regulations etc.

• National self-confidence • International confidence

Colombia: Results

• • • • • • • • • •

Visitors doubled (2003 – 2008: 624,990 1,22,012) GDP growth x 332% (2002 – 2007) Exports up 150% Unemployment down 29% Road mobility up by 41% Hotel occupancy up by 32% Confidence iindex of C l bi population up b 75% C fid d f Colombian l ti by FDI = 5% GDP in 2007 ($US 8.65 bn) “Doing Business” Index of 181 countries: 66th in 2007 Doing Business 53rd in 2008 World Bank prize 2007 Forecast income per capita by 2032: from $US 3,000 3 000 18,000 18 000

Rebranding Glasgow
From deprivation & violence ………… to cultural capital

Rebranding Glasgow
• I Importance of events t f t • Internal marketing campaign

Rebranding Barcelona
From industrial port ………… to vibrant, artistic, beach city , , y

Rebranding Barcelona
Olympics + urban regeneration

Rebranding New Zealand

From faded ….. to fresh!

Rebranding New Zealand

Synergy: tourism + food


Branding in a Digital World
• • • • • •
People’s desires & travel motivation New channels of communication N h l f i ti More “friends” More clutter

Make those “f M k th “few seconds” count d ” t Let others help you

Branding in a Digital World g g

City Logos

and…………… and…………… it must tell a story t t ll t

Sense of Place – The Story y

Sense of Place – The Story y


Barcelona Athens

Place of Origin – The Story g y

Place of Origin – The Story g y

Cornish Pilchards

Place of Origin – The Story g y
A fishy tale

Yellow Railroad

………your story must be y y compelling http:// htt // t b / t h? X7MVt XM lI

7. Implications for Athens

Athens – A Snapshot p

• • •

Image? Short break? Competitors?

Athens – A Snapshot p
What do we want from a short break?
“The short break, though, is one of the great pleasures of travel – the two or three night escape that combines a dose o culture, of cu tu e, a couple of decent meals and the discovery of somewhere new with an escape from routine”

Telegraph - UK, Sat 04 Feb 2012

Athens – A Snapshot p
Top 5 =
Athens overview “Once known for smog, traffic and tacky architecture, Athens is a city reformed thanks to fortunes brought by the 2004 Summer y g y Olympics. Spotless parks and streets, an ultra-modern metro, new motorways, an accessible airport and all signs in perfect English make the city easily negotiable Meriting more than a negotiable. stopover en route to the islands, sophisticated Athens sites include many pillars of Western history, from the Acropolis to the Temple of Olympian Zeus, as well as treasures in the National Zeus Archaeological Museum.”

Athens – A Snapshot p

Athens – A Snapshot p
5th century BC UK Perceptions Gateway to islands Summer

Athens – A Snapshot p
“hot, dusty, g , congested, chaotic, urban sprawl”

UK Perceptions
Acropolis …….what then?”

“After the

Athens – A Snapshot p
“Great to wander around Rome ….. But what is there in Athens apart from the Parthenon?” “Back streets are interesting …. felt safe……..but not part of the tourist thing” “You have to see the Parthenon…. but after you’ve been once, why go back?” “Loads of museums – but they were all closed because of a strike”

Athens – A Snapshot p
“Good long weekend destination (never been) – lots to do….……..would go outside the hot season” “Taxi drivers are a bunch of crooks…… crooks………….my wife wouldn’t g back” y go “There’s the city and then places outside the city ….. can go swimming … temples …. lots to see” g g p “I’d love to see the new Acropolis museum”

Athens – A Snapshot p
Rome Barcelona Istanbul

Athens – A Snapshot p
= romantic

Istanbul Barcelona
= vibrant

= exotic


= historic

Athens – A Snapshot p
Romantic Rome

Barcelona B l




FUNCTIONAL……. “D FUNCTIONAL “Does it work ?” k EMOTIONAL…… “How does it feel ?” SELF – EXPRESSIVE… …………….“Is it me ?”

Athens – A Snapshot p
FUNCTIONAL……. “Does it work ?” FUNCTIONAL Does ?  History / culture y  Airfare – reasonable  Accessible – time

Athens – A Snapshot p

EMOTIONAL… EMOTIONAL “How does it feel ?” × Romantic × Exotic × Vibrant ? Historic

Athens – A Snapshot p

× × ×

Perceived as one-dimensional “Been once – seen it all” Historic – “but not for me”

But……………………………………………. But + Out-of-date perceptions

+ +

Awareness of new Acropolis museum “Olympics probably changed things”

Athens – A Snapshot p
Could Athens claim to be “Passionate”?  Passionate about history / culture  Passionate about drama  Passionate about democracy  Passionate about philosophy  Passionate about hospitality

Athens – A Snapshot p
The Way Forward

• • • • •

Clear, emotive brand character Update perceptions Brand ambassadors & advocates Reflect brand /sense of place in public realm, events & marketing , g PR & social media

Athens – A Snapshot p
Target T t

• • • • • •

Stand for something “Different from what I expected” “Must go there” Must there Competitive w Rome & Istanbul Crisis = opportunity

More visits

“Marketing a destination without first establishing its competitive identity is like j p g jumping out of a p plane without a parachute”

Tom Buncle, Yellow Railroad

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Tom B l T Buncle Managing Director

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