Although the concept of branding has been applied extensively to products and services, tourism destination branding is a relatively recent phenomenon. In particular, destination branding remains narrowly defined to many practitioners in destination management organizations and is not well represented neither in branding or the tourism literature.
Communities, cities, and states all compete in the world of everything — commerce, tax bases, cultural riches, hometown intellects, the creative class, and happy folks using it all. It’s the fuel to keep geographic areas going and growing.
It also brews healthy combat zones, the seduction of buyers to destinations. For business or pleasure, the game is called branding. As in, regional branding.
For decades, this practice has existed, but more recently it’s become in business vogue — and a powerful economic advantage.
As people and companies decide where to plop down their roots and cash, just like with any other buying decision, they need to feel the emotional connection to their needs and the earned trust to reduce their fears.
Destination branding is about:
- clearly defining a purpose
- consistently communicating a persona
- delivering on a promise
Here is an interesting reading material on the subject from the online edition of Business Week magazine giving an overview on How States Project a Come-Hither Look, listing some of the strategies US states approached the subject, from logos, slogans, flags all the way to the licence plates.