A strong message
It's still early days in the election count but it's safe to say that the biggest winner of General Election 2020 has been Sinn Fein. I myself am not a Sinn Fein voter and I'm non-political in general. Throughout the campaign, however, I was struck by the Sinn Fein messaging and how strongly it seemed to stand out from the other parties. In my view, the party had a very clear message (change) that was consistently delivered to the voters that it resonated most with (young people who are struggling to buy or rent a home). Sinn Fein had observed the 5 key principles of “Message your Magic”:
5 Principles of Brand Positioning
Unique Experience but General Message
So what’s all this got to go with tourism? One of the first questions I ask my client is ‘What’s your magic?’ or ‘What do you stand out for?’ I rarely get a magical answer! I get a fairly long and complicated explanation about what they do and the place they do it in.
I’ll then ask ‘so who’s your experience good for?’ or ‘what type of person loves what you offer?’ 8 times out of 10 the answer is ‘Well everyone really! Yes, anybody could come to us and have a great time.’ ‘Really?” I think to myself. “Any nationality, any age-group, any budget?? They’d all love what you do anytime they’d do your experience??”
It’s true, isn’t it? Many tourism businesses feel that their experience is ‘unique’ and yet, when it comes to describing their business on websites, social media, in person, they will present it in a completely general way - suitable for all people, all nationalities, all age groups at pretty much any time. When I challenge this and suggest maybe focusing on the visitors that really love what they do – you know, the ones who are motivated to leave 5 star reviews and recommend friends – people are hesitant, saying “But I don’t want to exclude everyone else. I don’t want to turn other groups off.”
Talking to everyone, heard by no-one
While it may be true that a very diverse range of people might enjoy what you do, running your business on that basis limits your potential. Why? The paradox is that if you’re trying to talk to everyone, you end up being heard by no-one. When you are trying to please everyone, you blend in instead of standing out. Your experience remains invisible in the great big noisy tourism marketplace.
It's not that complicated.
When it comes to brand messaging, try not to over-complicate. Clear and concise messages work. Know your magic and know who it’s magical for. Then observe the 5 key principles above.
This will allow you to create a really powerful message that speaks directly to those you want to serve. Your ideal visitor is looking for the magic you specialise in delivering. You need to be specific about that magic so that your ideal visitor hears you above the noise that’s out there and wants to find out more about you. By messaging your magic in a clear, concise and consistent way, by speaking to one target market at a time, you won’t miss out - you will stand out!
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