The LTO Managers looked as though they had been asked a question to win a million rand and had no idea of the answer. They desperately wanted to win the money but could only answer in vague terms rather than giving the specific winning answer.
‘What is your town’s USP that makes you stand out?’ was the question. The Managers of the well-established tourism towns really struggled to give concise answers. It was also evident that most of the towns advertised in a one-size-fits-all style and listed activities that were fairly similar to those promoted by most coastal destinations.
Our customers have more travel choices than ever before and more access to information to guide their research. This statement should give us a clue of how to structure the process of standing out and prospering as a destination. To succeed we have to place our customers at the center of our process. This is one step that should be followed before we start giving our own inputs on our USP’s.
Engaging with your current customers is the vital step in delivering stories that allow you to stand out. You need to find out which experiences your customers currently value. Which experiences do they share on social media and regard as unique and authentic. As our human DNA differentiates us, this process will lead to informing us of the DNA of our destination. Once we have established our destination DNA, we will be led in determining its USP’s and building our stories according to what our customers value about us and then share throughout the world. We should be enhancing the experiences that flow from our DNA. The final step is to develop our destination stories that will resonate with our target audience in the way that it meets their travel desires and touches their emotions.
Our customers need us to develop a unique product experience that inspires them to share their stories about these experiences. Knowing what they regard as our USP’s and authentic experiences are the key to building your story that will resonate with your target markets and grow your market share.
It’s time to get back to basics. We have guessed enough! Let’s speak to our customers and ensure that we provide experiences that will cause the to become your best promoters.