Perhaps you are wondering what my trip has to do with marketing, ironically enough it has everything to do with marketing from a branding perspective. If you have participated in my branding course you know that your brand is what your customers perceive about you and how you make them feel. I'm going to share with you how one company not only successfully drafted a branding campaign, but delivered on it as well.
Villa del Palmar had not yet introduced their brand to the general public, but the journalist they had invited were getting a sneak peak for what they would push out in January of 2013. Villa del Palmar knew that they weren't the only resort in the beautiful Cancun island, so they had to stand out.
They had to make the trip memorable and entice their visitors to return. It's no secret that the travel industry has taken an economic hit over the last few years. Travelers want to get the most for their money and are finding ways to meet their travel needs when they have less disposable income. The travel industry has to continue to change and adapt with market demands just like any business.
In walks the latest brand campaign by Villa Del Palmar ... Your Story Starts Here.
Your Story Starts Here
What does that mean? How does my story start at a luxury resort in Cancun, Mexico?
The idea behind the campaign was to bring to the forefront the dedication of Villa del Palmar resort groups to provide guests with more than a luxury vacation, but to showcase the resorts ability to create everlasting memories. The campaign strives to give tangible identity to remarkable experiences and milestones that create a lasting impact on each and every visitor.
Sounds wonderful, doesn't it?
When I looked at the branding campaign I became keenly aware of a need they were fulfilling with this campaign. As individuals as families we are thirsty to be refreshed, re-energized and reawakened to our purpose in life. We get up, we go through the motions, everyday similar to the last and a mirror of what will happen tomorrow. We don't take the time to reflect and evaluate where we are in life, we just keep putting one foot in front of the other in hope that tomorrow might be better than yesterday. We've stopped going on vacations, we've stopped taking time, we've stopped creating memories. When I sat down with the information that spurred this brand campaign I had an ah-ha moment. Villa del Palmar was solving a problem, they were reminding people of the importance to take a breath, spend time with their families, enjoy the moment and create memories. They reminding us to take time for that which is important.
How would they do this?
Obviously they'd have to create awareness before people arrived at the resort, because the idea of the branding campaign was to attract visitors to the resort. They would craft a marketing campaign to encourage a personal story; perhaps the story would be a wedding, a girls trip, or a family's vacation get away. The campaign would invoke an emotional connection with existing and new customers. They would then take this message to the masses using electronic newsletters, social media campaign that included a sweepstakes for a lucky customer to win a trip to Villa del Palmar with a customized travel package.
Now, with all of that being said if they didn't deliver on this brand campaign when a guest arrived the campaign was moot and could likely disappoint. They'd have to deliver on their brand promise that they publicized in this campaign. Fortunately I had an opportunity to not only hear about the new branding campaign, but to also experience it.
Just from the messages that we received before arriving at the resort I was already anticipating a life changing event, a time of reflection and great experiences. The resort had created the energy and atmosphere of expecting change, expecting something different. We arrived in our resort suites and on the table there was a small notebook, inside the notebook a handwritten note...
"Write everything and do not forget anything. Remember that... Your Story Starts Here. "
The setting of the resort was amazing, our suites had their own hammocks on the balcony that overlooked the wonderful beach setting, comfortable living room, full kitchens, washer and dryer and a jacuzzi. Everyday we were greeted with fantastic experiences that the resort offered including amazing food, tea tasting, and tequila tasting. There were five outdoor pools, four fantastic restaurants and a spa that transferred you into a deep relaxing oasis. We learned about the culture and the history that surrounded the Villa del Palmar. We experienced swimming with the dolphins at Delphinus and a day on the clear blue waters on a Samba Catamaran.
They had delivered on their brand promise and I walked away not only knowing that my story started there, but realizing I would continue to add chapters to that story throughout my journey in life.
Well done Villa del Palmar, well done.