Q&A Session on The Hierarchy of Destination Brands by Alan 'Brand' Williamson, Destination Brand Developer, and Richard Tibbott, Chairman - Locum Destination Consulting
Q: What about the physical manifestation of brands? Do you think diversity is an advantage?
A: Richard quoted the example of SpainMarks, where each region is connected with a specific brand idea and where partnership between the country and the regions is the basis of the branding strategy.
About the graphic unity of a brand, Richard answered that diversity was fine, as long as there was no confusion in people’s minds concerning the relationship between the destination brand and its core product. People have different cultures within one country. As a consequence, brands can also be diverse within one country, which often results in a number of sub regional brands.
Alan gave the example of France. This destination is always associated with food and wine. However, some regions have a stronger impact than the France brand, in the wine sector for instance: the Champagne region actually transcends the national brand, so does Medoc or Camembert.
Q: Could you give an example of a brand that creates too big a discrepancy between reality and promise?
A: Alan took this question and quoted India as just one of many examples throughout the world. The current brand proposition is 'Incredible India'. This just doesn't make any sense, as the brand proposition does not capture the essence of the country and the nation which is based on 'spirituality'.
Richard added the example of Southeast England where 76 different brands exist, 20 only have enough marketing resources to become destination brands and only 5 manage to exploit these resources. Indeed, the competition between brands in this part of England is played out primarily at a local level and does not expand to the global marketplace. (Margate competes with Hastings...). So few people know about these destinations apart from the locals.