It has always puzzled me how marketeers can be so arrogant to think their brand can appeal to everyone, all of the time. Do they think they will miss some customers with this “catch all’ approach?
Now that we can theoretically reach all of the citizens in all of the world, without I suspect, really knowing what the world wants to do for their holidays, the poor customer has to deal with so much information, of questionable relevance, all directed at them. The temptation must be to simply switch off?
Add in the acres of poor, cliché-ridden copy, makes for some uninspiring reading.
Here’s some gems I would like to share with you: Guess the destination.
“Explore the natural environment, take an exciting desert safari, relax at the many beaches and pool facilities, or enjoy your favourite sport. Golf courses, billiards and snookers tables, bowling alleys, tennis and squash facilities, ice skating rinks. Whatever your interest, there is something for everyone.” Don’t know? Neither does anyone else.
Some destinations unashamedly shout their blandness from the home page, they even include a ‘something for everyone” page. What they are really saying is – Don’t visit us! We can’t be bothered to communicate in a meaningful way and therefore can’t really begin to persuade you to spend your tourism dollars here.
Or simply list each and every thing there is to see and do: “It’s worthwhile to meander down the Riverwalk, which locals call Florida’s most beautiful mile because of the plethora of shops, boutiques, restaurants, picnic areas, plant exhibits, gazebos and museums along the way.”
This writer got so carried away, you have to take a deep breath before plunging in; “Visit a museum, hike a pristine trail, star gaze, relax in front of bonfire, swim in sparkling waters, shop for that perfect piece of art, sip some local wine or beer on a dock, get up close and personal with wildlife, pamper yourself at a spa give your taste buds a treat, photograph stunning vistas, or enjoy one of the many events and festivals which reflect Muskoka’s charm and uniqueness.” Is this all to be done in one day?
I’d like to introduce the first cousin of “something for everyone.” Meet “whether you feel like” and a destination that has cracked it by combining the two deserves a mention. “Whether you feel like being outdoors or indoors, whether you are a beginner or an expert, whatever the season, whatever the budget, Muskoka has something for everyone.” Brilliant. I’m packing my bags.
We also get spoilt with these nuggets:
Discover the hidden gems
Step back in time
Bring the little ones
A treasure trove
There is something to suit all tastes!
Our destination is a perfect year-round destination
Our destination is the most culturally and historically-rich
Our destination is unique
The list of delights is long with something for every taste and interest
Because there are far too many unique & historic places and sites to list here, we invite you to come and experience this wonderful New york City borough for yourself.
Meaningless stats – it’s the size of 12 swimming pools and 3.5 elephants (that’s African) stacked one on top of the other, and my favourite “Showcasing”
So what’s wrong with all the above you might ask? Nothing, it’s just that they are being used by so many destinations, up and down the land. Or is it part of the dumbing down where assumption are made that we are all stupid and cannot possibly grasp complex situations or half-day itineraries and must have everything explained to us in baby language? Or perhaps poor copywriting skills that once would have stayed local, now find a wider audience?
So why is your destination special? Why is it different from others? Don’t leave your potential visitors guessing, or closing that window as they don’t understand the offer or can’t be bothered to read ‘more of the same’ copy.
Should it be a marketeers aim to stand out from all this noise, to differentiate products and services, to put the customer first? Niche marketing has never been fashionable. Too expensive, too small, too specific – too niche. Too interesting not to give it a go I’d say.
Or you could try segmenting your market. You may find you save a lot of money, can focus your dwindling resources and begin to really engage with potential customers who will come and spend their money in your destination.
Please share your own examples below.