Words like “local”, “experience” and “surprise and delight” used to make brands stand out – but are now just “bingo” in luxury travel.
That was the warning from Tom Marchant, co-founder of one of the UK’s most successful bespoke travel companies, Black Tomato.
“Differentiation is important – but be different in order to be better, not just because,” he told the TTG Luxury Travel Summit.
Finding an influencer and paying them lots of money to post about their experience with your brand is not the only way to market your brand, he emphasised.
“Instead have a point of view, work out what you stand for and what the consumer needs you for. Avoid generic language. Look at how and when you’re communicating with them – customers who work 9-5 might not want to be emailed during the day,” he suggested.
He also advised travel brands to build empathy with their customers, demonstrating that they understand and care about them.
“At Black Tomato we started sending clients music and literature we thought they would enjoy on their trip, and sending them a pack of goodies when they return to show we understand they are coming back to earth with a bump. It shows that we get you, we’re thinking of you.”
Creating a company culture that facilitates innovation and putting the customer first is also key to standing out in a competitive luxury market, he added.
“You have to set a framework to allow that kind of mentality to thrive,” he insisted, revealing that “curious, humble, thoughtful and remarkable” are the four values by which the team at Black Tomato is encouraged to do business.