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  • Logos are not Brands see more

    Logos and slogans are NOT Brands! Want to learn more how to brand a community beyond a logo or slogan? Access our 2-part, "The Art of Branding Series" here.

  • Are your tourism ads good enough to close the sale? see more

    If you start your tourism ad with your logo and tag line, who you are, where you are, or what it is you are trying to promote, your tactics are dead wrong. The problem? You haven’t told us WHY we should buy from you or visit you, nor is there a call to action. No wonder 97% of tourism print advertising is ineffective!

    Below are two sample full-page tourism ads with seven numbers on them (Number three is missing on the second one) and each number is in order of importance.
































    #1. The first and most important element is one single signature illustration (or photo) that will evoke an instant emotional response: fear, awesomeness, radical, a “wow” moment, or sublime. It tells the reader “ Wow! I want to go there!” or “I want that!” or, at least, a “What?” pulling them further in.

    #2. The “header,” or primary headline, is next. Here’s how tourism print ads work: the viewer will notice the photo or primary graphic in a second, and if it catches their attention they will read the header next – usually in the following second or two. The header, like the photo, must be enough to grab their attention. You have three seconds to pull them in. Just three seconds.

    #3. Now that you’ve grabbed their attention, you move them to the “sub-head” or follow-up sentence. This is the call to action. The goal: to make the reader want to know more. At this point you’ve held their attention for a whopping four to five seconds. The graphic image, the header, and sub-head MUST be good enough to pull the reader into the body text – your main paragraph.

    #4. The body text must get to the point in the first sentence. It must tell the reader WHY they need what it is you have to offer. Don’t tell me WHO you are, WHAT you are selling, or WHERE you are. Tell me WHY and that will pull me further into the text. The goal is to get the reader to log on or call for more information.

    #5. Now that you’ve pulled them into your ad, here is where you say, “by the way, here’s who we are” – and that’s where your logo is placed.

    #6. THEN you tell them WHERE you are: your location, or how they find you: a website address or phone number or physical address.

    #7. And last on the list is your tag line – the “anchor.” The few words that cement ownership of your brand – what it is you want to be known for. For BMW it’s the “Ultimate Driving Machine.” That’s the tag line that makes up the final exclamation point.

    Are your tourism ads good enough to close the sale?



  • Article
    How important are logos and slogans to your brand? see more

    Let's establish the main focus of this article right away—Logos and slogans are NOT brands!

    Logos and slogans (or tag lines) are simply marketing messages used to support your brand. Do you go to Disney World because it’s slogan is “The Happiest Place on Earth”? Of course not, you go there because of your perception of the theme park—what you know of it and what you expect when you get there. It's logo and slogan simply reinforce the brand that Disney’s parks are a great place for families.

    Do NOT get hung up on logos and slogans. They are way down the list in terms of branding a destination.

    In fact, this is where most communities fail. They start with a logo, a slogan, and good looking graphics, and forget that brands are really about perceptions. Your logo and slogans are ONLY used to support, inform and reinforce that one thing that sets you apart from everyone else.

    What do these tag lines say about their respective communities?

    • Plymouth, MI: Not just a walk in the park
    • Frisco, TX: Progress in motion
    • Gainesville, FL: Every path starts with a mission
    • Fort Collins, CO: Where renewal is a way of life
    • Fort Wayne, IN: Room for dreams
    • Killeen, TX: Where freedom has a face and pride is personal

    Could these fit any community, anywhere?

    And do you believe the following communities really “own” these brands?

    • Bristol, RI: America’s most patriotic town
    • Inyo County, CA: Adventure capital of the world
    • Manteca, CA: The heart of California

    Remember, at the end of the day you must “deliver on the promise.” If your logo or tag line can fit someone else—Toss it. Make sure it instantly says what you are about and sets you apart from the rest.