Questions

I am starting a company that will operate a range of niche travel experiences. Are there benefits of using multiple brands for different experiences?

The plan is over the next few years to develop, operate and run a range of unique travel experiences - each which could develop into a sustainable product line on its own. These include: culinary tours / experiences; green / sustainable tours; experience that have a strong focus on social innovation in a country... These can all be operated with the same operations team, but the real question is whether to target niches I am best to create multiple brands each targeting a separate niche, or maybe multiple sub-brands. Or is it best just top create one very strong brand. Obviously running multiple brands is not an easy thing! Will be relying on a combination of online and offline marketing and sales.

6answers

As former CMO of Expedia I can tell you that being focused will trump any theoretical upside of having different names. To this day there's a struggle to build daylight in meaning between Hotels.com and Expedia's core hotel business - and there have literally been billions spent on trying to do that over the years. Get clear on who you're for, the problem you solve, what insight you are building against and your positioning against that. There's enough work there on its' own - believe me. Good luck.


Answered 6 years ago

Only the super big guys can handle multiple brands! And they have separate operations teams handling each one. Humans need to be fully immersed in a brand to do it right, and few can handle many on the same day. Plus how do you cross promote? Doesn't matter if it is online or offline. Notice Amazon is one brand for all they do.


Answered 6 years ago

Building one brand is difficult and expensive enough. Start by focussing on the easiest niche, and worry about the rest in the future.


Answered 6 years ago

I would suggest you focus on one brand initially but make it flexible. Once you have established a brand you could look at either extending it or diversifying into segments. Suggest that you look at developing a "Unique Travel Experience" banner that can be used for a variety of your niches but I would start with the one you are most familiar and experienced. Let your customers drive your expansion.


Answered 6 years ago

I'm more or less in agreement with the previous comments. Starting off with multiple brands in parallel would increase your work load while fracturing your audience. We do see companies operating a hierarchical brand structure -- i.e. many individual brands beneath an overarching company brand umbrella. However, that's usually the result of acquisitions, mergers, spinoffs, and new launches over time. In most cases it's unwise to aim for that initially.

Better to find a brand identity that showcases the full diversity of your travel offerings.

Keep in mind that one brand can branch out in multiple marketing directions. One brand can be discovered in many different ways and places -- each appropriate to the business component in question.


Answered 6 years ago

I recommend creating a masterbrand under which you would set up individual profit centres, one per type of travel experience. This allows you to optimally leverage your investment in online/offline marketing AND your operations costs while allowing you to see which of the travel experiences perform most profitably and which are most popular with your target audience (you can expect these may not be the same).

Your tagline/brand promise should cross all product lines. For example, you could use something like "Travel experiences as unique as you are." (After all, it's all about the customer, not you/your products.) Then work all your marketing communications so that your masterbrand becomes known for this benefit and tie individual product positioning to making good on this promise.

Your idea sounds very interesting and I wish you great success with it!


Answered 6 years ago

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