Matching a Destination’s Brand Image to a Person’s Self-Image

September 9, 2016  |  Mary DeLong

Recreation & Lifestyle  |  Travel & Tourism

Birds of a feather flock together. 

People who have similar likes, beliefs and interests gravitate to each other. The same is true in commerce. Whether consciously or unconsciously, people spend their time and money with brands that have similar characteristics and values as they do. People view their preferred products, services and yes, vacation spots, as an extension of themselves. Therefore, their decision-making is motivated by how well their purchase enhances their self-image, self-esteem and outwardly reflects the things they value most.

So how does it translate?

Research indicates that the more a destination’s brand image matches a person’s self-image, the greater the likelihood the person will visit. In other words, people have to see themselves in the destination and truly believe it will deliver on their values and desires. For example, a person who values fame and celebrity will likely have an interest in visiting destinations that deliver on that experience.

Make it happen.

The single most important thing a destination can do to strengthen their consumer appeal is to build its brand on the foundation of values shared with its target audience, so that the destination experience becomes more valuable than the pieces and parts.

Destination marketers need to shift the focus away from all the “stuff to see and do” in the destination, and instead sell the potential rewards that the entire experience can provide — using the “stuff” as proof points. Destinations should identify:

Are you ready to build a relevant, values-based platform to create an emotional connection between your audience and your destination brand? Contact us here. BVK would welcome the opportunity to help with this strategic transformation.


is a Senior VP, Director of Tourism Division at BVK

Get updates from The Current

Which topics interest you?

Public Service
Travel & Tourism
Recreation & Lifestyle
Consumer & Retail
Financial Services
Thinking Big

More from The Current

November 29, 2022

Travel Insights: Gen Z and How They Are Changing Travel 

The New Culture Makers Rethink Travel In this month’s issue we focus on understanding how Gen Z’s cultural values are alr...

October 31, 2022

Travel Insights: Young Generations’ Priorities & Travel Solutions

It’s hard to believe that we are already welcoming Gen Z adults into the traveling marketplace. Many of us are just now com...

October 26, 2022

Does Your University Have a Brand?

Does Your University Have a Brand? If You Don’t Know, That’s a Problem American higher education pays too little attentio...

September 30, 2022

BVK Travel Insight: Impactful Travel Advertising

Despite lingering economic uncertainty, any media consumption these days unquestionably gives the viewer the sense that trave...

August 30, 2022

BVK Travel Insights: Tourism x Locals

Anyone who attended the Destinations International Annual Conference in Toronto or U.S. Travel’s ESTO in Grand Rapids over ...

July 28, 2022

Travel Insights: Tailored Travel

As the travel industry continues to expand and evolve, vacation options have become more plentiful with the ability to find o...

June 27, 2022

Travel Insights: Values in Travel

Pretty sure it was John Mellencamp who sang, “You gotta stand for something or you’ll fall for anything.” Heckuva marke...

May 25, 2022

The travel industry’s biggest buzzword – “values” – is misunderstood.

In 2021, Destinations International unveiled its Futures Study, the guidelines which at least to some extent, have become a B...

April 26, 2022

Travel Insights: Future Travel

As the world around us continues to change and we head into the second quarter of another year, the travel industry is on the...