A report on mediapost.com confirms a deeply held opinion of mine and provides some insights for all of us. The report states that the 50 fastest growing brands have something important in common. They publicly state their mission in terms of how they make the world and/or individual lives better. They don’t talk about being the best maker of [insert product here], or the biggest supplier of [insert another product here], or the leader in the [name industry] industry. They focus on how their product helps people.

It’s really not a new concept. It’s just that it is becoming more widely implemented. Decades ago any marketing professor would have told his or her students to focus on benefits not features. I wrote about it in this blog back in Dec 2010, citing Walmart’s shift from “Always low prices” to “Save Money. Live Better.” A more recent example is Panera Bread’s line “Make Today Better.”

Should this practice be applied to tourism marketing? Absolutely. Travel is educational. It can open one’s eyes to new cultures. It can be adventurous or relaxing, both of which are restorative to different segments of the population. Travel means time together, which can mend strained relationships and strengthen bonds between generations. Indeed, travel has the ability to make lives better. We look for creative ways to weave these benefits into our tourism work all the time.


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