Place Branding + Tourism Marketing
Arcade works with tourism organizations, hoteliers, tour and attractions operators, advertising agencies and anyone else with an open mind and a desire to do great things.
What makes you different, better and special and who is your ideal visitor?
You can never really “re-brand” a destination — it is what it is. What you can do, is find the real truth in your travel experience to provide prospective visitors, investors and stakeholders with a fresh new frame of reference in which to consider your destination, hotel or attraction.
Whether you need a few minor tweaks, a major overhaul, or simply need to gain consensus among your stakeholders, Arcade’s simple, flexible and effective approach to exploring your brand can help.
Our process is based on three pillars: collaboration, research and simplicity.
Collaboration means that you and your stakeholders are directly involved in the development of the brand. Our structured workshops allow all opinions to be shared, new ideas to emerge and ultimately, consensus to be achieved.
Our approach to research is to learn from what you’ve already done so we don’t waste resources covering the same ground, to engage consumers by asking them to react to draft concepts rather than asking them to define your brand, and always treat research as a learning opportunity versus a pass or fail test.
Simplicity is at the core of everything we do. We use simple models in our workshops to frame up complex issues. We speak simply rather than using a lot of jargon. And, most importantly, we develop simple brand ideas that can be understood and implemented by everyone from the Chief Marketing Officer to the front line staff.
It’s an approach that we’ve fine-tuned through more than 100 brand development workshops for organizations like The Canadian Tourism Commission, The Hawaii Tourism Authority, Travel Alberta, Banff Lake Louise Tourism, the Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership and Toronto Tourism.
From what our clients tell us, and the results they’ve achieved, it’s an approach that works.
Stop selling your programs and start making programs partners will want to buy into.
Creating a successful tourism marketing plan means striking a fine balance between what is right for your brand, what will resonate with the consumer, and what will work for your partners and other stakeholders. Ultimately, it’s about putting heads in beds.
We’ve developed local and international marketing programs for everyone from entire countries to small towns, industry associations and individual operators. We’ve developed integrated and award-winning programs involving everything from the Olympics to baby polar bears, from broadcast TV to geurrilla events, and from Saskatoon to Tokyo.
Our focus is on creating integrated campaigns that drive the consumer through the path to purchase, with each tactic leveraging the next. It’s not about putting the same message everywhere — it’s about letting each component, from mass advertising to social media, play to its individual strengths and drive the consumer closer to purchase.
Whether you’re looking for a second opinion or starting from scratch, we can work with your team, agencies and other stakeholders to develop programs that generate real results.
Powerful ideas can only come from people inside the industry. Our job is to create an environment where they can be discovered.
Facing a specific challenge or want to create new opportunities?
Our structured workshops can be tailored to meet your specific needs. And when we say “workshops” we mean it – our role is to frame up a conversation and lead your stakeholders through exercises designed to explore different points of view, provide opportunities for input, and achieve real results.
We’ve led more than 100 workshops in just the past few years and the only thing they’ve had in common has been a positive outcome for all stakeholders at the end.
We’re specialists in taking seemingly complex issues and breaking them down into bite-sized chunks that are easy to understand and explore. It’s not a fancy “proprietary process,” it’s just a simple and collaborative way to create productive conversations.
Tell us what you’d like to achieve, and we’ll structure a conversation to help you get there.
If you think tourism is just like any other business, think again.
Have a big pitch coming up or facing challenges with an existing account?
Arcade can get your team up to speed fast, offer a fresh perspective or simply be a shoulder to cry on. Tourism is a tough business but one that’s hugely rewarding when you forge a strong partnership with your clients.
We prefer to work behind the scenes, but have been known to take a more active role in pitches if the opportunity is right and it fits with your needs. About the only thing we refuse to do is act as a lure in the pitch then disappear once the business is awarded — it’s not fair to the clients and we like these folks.
Get involved before something happens where you have to be involved.
A few years ago, we convinced a major international advertising firm to launch what was then the first large agency social media division, and we grew the business to over $1 million in fees in our first year.
We did that by recognizing that social media requires a different kind of business model and a different skill-set, unlike anything that existed in the agency at the time.
Along the way, we developed an approach to social media that is tailor-made for the travel industry, applying the right social media channels at the right time to lead the consumer down through the path to purchase.
We create programs that are fully integrated into your other marketing disciplines and that offer a lot of opportunities for your partners to participate and to leverage what they’re already doing in social media.
You’ve seen what we did for the Banff Crasher Squirrel. Ask us about the program that Forbes Magazine called one of the Top 10 Tourism Campaigns of all time…
Not sure where to start? Trying to figure out who does what and how you and your partners can work better together?
Our training programs are tailored to the needs of the tourism industry and provide not only education, but a clear definition of roles, responsibilities and processes for your team to work seamlessly with your partners.
Our services can be retained on a fixed project cost or retainer basis.
How well aligned are the collective efforts of your tourism organization and its stakeholders?
These days, everyone is under pressure to do more with less and to better quantify their ROI. One area that often overlooked is not just how many partners are making financial investments in your programs, but how many players across the broader industry are following your lead from a strategic and brand perspective.
Measuring your overall influence on and alignment with your partners allows you to quantify the true impact your organization is having on the industry. It also lets you identify opportunities for greater alignment and find more synergies across your shared marketing programs.
Our detailed analysis and reporting gives you both a perceptual and realistic view of the degree to which you and your partners are singing off the same song sheet.
How are your competitors reaching your prospects and what can you learn from them?
Most tourism organizations don’t spend enough time looking at what the other guys are doing. It’s a tremendous lost learning opportunity. Tourism is one of the very few industries where, because of the public nature of the industry, most of what your competitors have planned or have researched is publicly available.
Can you imagine Apple or Adidas publishing their insights and ideas for the whole world to see? And yet that’s exactly what’s available in the tourism industry, if you know where to look.
An Arcade Competitive Analysis tells you not only what your competitors are doing, but what you can learn from it and apply to your own business.
How are your stakeholders and your competitors using social media and how do your efforts compare?
An Arcade Social Media Audit allows you to measure your brand’s relative presence and impact across all major social media channels.
What are consumers saying about you? What are they saying about your competitors? How much of a voice do you have in the conversations that happen online every day? How are your competitors using social media to their advantage? And what can you do to improve your brand’s presence in the world of social media?
We go beyond the raw data provided by automated social media monitoring tools to give you a more complete view of the role and impact social media is having on you, your industry and your competitors.