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

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