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Improving the way you sell to customers

Posted by Kirsten Lowis on 31 May 2019
This case study zooms in on Paul, who is a Tourist Operator.

Over a ten year period, Paul developed a series of brand values which enabled his business to reflect improvements
in service provision. The task almost broke him and his business. As most of us who have a successful brand
know well, it takes time and consistency to penetrate the market.

In the process, the brand values provided Paul and his business with a unique personality which, through its appeal to its local and international leisure seekers (customers), created a distinct advantage over their competitors.

Regardless of the country, the tourism industry is highly competitive. Paul knew that he needed to introduce unique and innovative products to the business. For example, the business has become the preferred company for many Travel Agents and Airlines because of its overall consideration to customers needs, whether they were locals or international customers.

This factor alone has become not only the hallmark of the service values of Paul's business, but of the
tourism industry as a whole. In the early years of the business, introducing the principles of customer care and value for money was a cutting edge service delivery strategy Paul knew that many weren't paying attention to what travelers really wanted and an experience that they will never forget. Paul and his team's mission was to provide the highest quality innovative service, at excellent value for money, for all classes of travellers both local and international.

Before long, Paul used branding to develop perceptions of a corporate personality, offering customers a unique combination
of service elements and attributes, which served to set his business apart from the competition. In other words,

Paul developed a 'service brand' symbolising both individualistic attributes and quality of service. This meant that even consumers with limited opportunities for international travel who might not have yet experienced his brand, would choose Paul's business if they were given a choice of operator, as the values represented through his brand would have influenced their choice.

The branding process became a combined delivery and marketing tool of considerable strength. However, before identifying the business's brand values, we helped Paul and his team understand how brands generally appeal to consumers by:

  • THINKING - We showed Paul that his brand needs to have a rational appeal which is logical and relates to what his business and team delivers. For example, they had to perform to the level of expectation on the basis of points of difference.
  • SENSES - Paul knew his brand needed to appeal to senses. So, we did a SWOT on the search-ability and design features of his website and how accessible the actual brand was searched online. Also, we helped Paul undertake an appraisal on how the brand looks, how it is placed in the market by his alliances and the opportunities his business provides new experiences for travellers.
  • FEELING - Paul's business brand needed to go further than logic to deal with emotion. He needed to aim to appeal to the innermost feelings of the customer.
  • INTUITION - People in general react instinctively to brands that are credible and which they feel are for 'people who are similar to them'. Paul had created a reputable brand locally, but he needed to find better ways to connect with international audiences more.

The foremost brand value Paul created was to provide the best possible service at the best possible value by guaranteeing the customer that they were foremost at all times. After surveying his past customers, he discovered that they regarded his business as a distinctive, fun-loving and highly innovative business (not just a Tourist Operator) which was, and still is, admired for its qualities of friendliness, intelligence and integrity. In developing a distinct and memorable brand, it was important that the features and benefits provided by the products and services the Paul's business offered actually reflected the core values of his brand. In other words the brand values had to symbolise a level of quality which the business would build into the product itself, rather than on his personal contributions. This was a difficult feat for Paul as he was the business up until he had a heart attack and needed a month off work. He realised that replacing himself, and his image
in the business was imperative to continuing the success of the business.

The winning formula came when Paul put his money where his mouth is and implemented a media strategy to promote his brand, including television, newspapers, online, travel promotions and direct mail to build confidence in his target audience. Of course, he backed it up with exceptional customer service standards.

Kirsten LowisAuthor: Kirsten Lowis
About: As the Founding Director of Zoom in Business - a subscription-based network and magazine, NQ Business Sales - a business sales firm based in North Queensland, and Bizrich - a business valuation firm, Kirsten has learnt from the trenches and brings a wealth of personal and professional experience and knowledge to our members. With over 13 years as a franchisee, retailer and start-up business owner, Kirsten has worked closely with fellow coaches, hundreds of clients and the best facilitators in Australia who have run their own business or have experience in running a business and teams. Kirsten’s extensive knowledge and experience as a Registered Business Valuer and Licenced Business Broker helps our readers and members improve awareness of the state of the market, understanding and confidence in buying, growing, valuing and selling their business, while connecting them with local and international news stories and experts to create a capable and dynamic business network.
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