6 Rules for Developing a Successful Travel Agency Brand
Written by: Amanda Bailey on August 30, 2016
As an independent travel agent, you and your brand are almost inseparable. Why? Because the primary product you are selling is yourself!
Developing a brand takes some thought, because there are so many elements of your business that will be affected by your brand. This includes everything from your logo and tagline, to your Facebook page, to the emails you send to clients.
However, there a few simple, essential rules that every business owner should stick to when preparing to brand their agency.
1. Be True to Yourself.
Your business is an extension of yourself, and your brand should reflect that. In the process of developing your brand, also make sure you have answers to questions like, “what do I love about being a travel agent?”, “what 3 words would I use to describe myself?” and “what story do I have to tell?” Ask your family and close friends for their insight. Remember, showcasing the person behind the brand (you!) is what will make your agency stand out.
2. Brand for the Long Haul.
Sure, it’s possible and sometimes beneficial to re-brand, but it’s costly and takes time. Establish a brand that you could see yourself using for the foreseeable future, and make small tweaks to it when necessary. Plus, constantly changing your brand will confuse your clients and potential clients!
3. Be Consistent.
In order to be memorable, your brand should be consistent in its message and usage across platforms. Brands don’t typically become successful overnight, so the goal should be to get your brand in front of your ideal audience on a regular basis. That way you’ll stick in their minds, and they’ll remember you the next time they think about booking travel!
4. Bring Value.
The more you can impact your clients’ and followers’ lives, the faster your brand is likely to grow. That means giving them a reason to value your brand, whether that be information (like travel tips), inspiration (like beautiful destination photos) or entertainment (like a funny story from a recent trip). Again, tie this in with your personality to bring more authenticity to your branding.
5. Think Strategically.
Consider where you might take your brand once your agency grows. Will your logo be appearing in other avenues, and will it still be effective? Do you have something to offer an audience on Instagram or YouTube? If you start out providing every traveler with a custom gift basket, will this still be sustainable once you have three or four times as many clients?
6. Be Professional.
Your travel agency is an extension of yourself – but it is still a business! Keep your brand’s content upbeat, professional and relevant to your audience. Remember, they are turning to you for your travel expertise, and deviating from that too much will confuse your audience.
For instance, say you’re personally involved with a local animal shelter. Posting photos from an event you volunteered at on your agency’s Facebook page would be fine once or twice, to demonstrate that you are involved in your community, but anything more would distract from your brand’s goal. If travel isn’t the Number 1 thing people associate with your brand, then you are sending mixed messages.
Interested in starting your own travel business and building a travel agency brand? KHM Travel Group is a host travel agency that provides comprehensive education and innovative tools for independent travel agents!
If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you start your own travel business, fill out the form on the right or call 1-888-611-1220 to receive our free information packet.