place branding with you have arrived sign on beach

What You Need To Know About Place Branding

Place branding is important to hospitality providers. Certainly, guests often choose the geography before the accommodations.

Place Branding For Small Cities, Regions, and Downtowns: The Essentials For Successful Destinations is an informative book written by Bill Baker. In short, he recommends that places ask these three questions: 

  • What do we want to be known for?
  • How can we stand out from the crowd and be more competitive?
  • What thoughts and feelings do we want to come to mind when recall our name?

In addition, the author makes the following insight:

"The key is to be distinctive and offer something that people cannot get closer to home. People want hands-on, interactive, and immersive encounters along with opportunities to engage with interesting people."

Thus, people are looking to be wowed. In other words, we should provide memorable experiences to attract new business. Consequently, we'll feature 5 different insights from this book.

Influences To Our Place Branding

So, it makes sense that places should be branded in a way that represents what's in their location. Therefore, local Convention and Visitor's Bureaus are an excellent resource for accommodations and other local businesses to tap.

Moreover, its brochures, videos, websites, and more provide business owners with information to share with potential guests and shoppers. In short, take advantage of marketing work that has already been done for you!

  • Architecture and design
  • Attractions
  • Beaches
  • Business districts
  • Celebrity and fame
  • Climate
  • Cuisine and wine
  • Culture and cultural attractions
  • Downtowns and main streets
  • Emotions benefits and feelings
  • Entertainment districts
  • Ethnicity
  • Events
  • Famous people
  • Forests and trails
  • History and historic sites, trails, districts
  • Industries and local products
  • Influence and power
  • Landmarks and icons
  • Legends and myths
  • Location and access
  • Natural environment
  • Nightlife
  • Parking areas
  • Parks and recreation areas
  • People
  • Personality and values
  • Physical attributes
  • Retail shopping niches
  • Social benefits
  • Sports and sporting venues
  • Streetscapes
  • Theme and amusement parks
  • Tourist areas
  • Universities and educational precincts
  • Visitor information facilities

Emotional Connections and Place Branding

That is to say, think about what you want your local accommodations or business to offer in terms of emotional connections. For instance, is your business a place to escape? In addition, what about a chance for adventure? Likewise, an opportunity to be pampered?

First, the important thing is to identify key emotional connections you want to make with your audience. After that, continue to consistently include variations of those keywords in your content. Consequently, you will be able to emphasize the same themes without sounding repetitive.

  • Adventure
  • Attract others
  • Become more fit and healthy
  • Challenge oneself
  • Connect with people
  • Entertain
  • Escape (many things)
  • Express love and romance
  • Fashion savvy
  • Feel pampered
  • Gain confidence
  • Indulgent
  • Informal
  • Make a better world (volunteering)
  • Pursue a passion
  • Reward oneself
  • Smarter
  • Successful
  • Superior

Community Values and Place Branding

First of all, do you know why people come to your location? Consequently, it's possible that you share that some compelling reason for others to stay and pay your business. To clarify, identify two or three values your community stands for that you also offer.

For example, perhaps your town is known for being artistic (galleries, museums, studios). Moreover, you feature art in your place of business. As a result, that would be an ideal value to emphasize.

  • Affordability
  • Artistic
  • Authenticity
  • Carrying capacity
  • Civic principle
  • Community spirit
  • Customer focus
  • Environmental care
  • Innovative
  • Knowledge
  • Patriotism
  • Quality
  • Reliability
  • Safety
  • Volunteerism
  • Well-being

Credentials and Place Branding

Similarly, just as your area may be recognized with accolades, this is an opportunity to share the achievements and attention that your accommodations or local business. In other words, do you have an award-winning recipe? Likewise, has your location used in a movie? Thirdly, do famous people recommend your area? Therefore, the goal is to entice visitors/shoppers to want to come to you.

  • Achievements
  • Awards
  • Historic facts
  • Intellectual property
  • Media exposure
  • Movie location
  • Prestige and celebrity
  • Quotes from famous people or experts
  • Significant sites
  • Site of a major event

4 Place Branding Factors

After that, the author identifies four factors that should be considered when it comes to branding places. As a result, whatever factors are the most compelling reasons for people to give you their business needs to be the factors that you emphasize.

For instance, that content can be shared on your website. Secondly, in blog posts. Thirdly, on social media. Fourthly, in press releases. Lastly, in videos.

  • Primary features and attributes: natural features, streetscape, weather, events, architecture
  • Rational benefits: culture, access, safety, cost, heritage, friendliness
  • Emotional benefits: how the experience makes visitors feel and connect with the place
  • Values and social benefits: the deep emotional needs, social benefits, values the place satisfies

For one thing, primary features are the easiest to deliver, easiest to copy, and least meaningful. On the other hand, values and social benefits are the most difficult to deliver, the most difficult to copy, and the most meaningful.

In conclusion, hospitality accommodations should identify how they fit into location's place branding. Lastly, this includes their location in the city, the emotional connections guests seek, any earned credentials, and place branding factors.

Certainly, you are welcome to read the following related blog posts about branding:

Furthermore, you are welcome to Contact Kristi Dement of Bed and Breakfast Blogging. In short, I welcome a free 20-minute phone consultation about your hospitality business! Thus, I am here to be a resource for you! Above all, I hope this inspires you to do bigger and better things. To sum up, you deserve to excel in your business.

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

 

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About the author 

Kristi Dement

Tapping into her love of hospitality & accommodations, as well as her talent for marketing, Kristi started Bed and Breakfast Blogging in November of 2013. She loves helping owners of B&B inns & other properties become more effective with their marketing. She is a member of the Association of Lodging Professionals. 

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