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How to Design a Competitor Free Tourism Business

By Paige Rowett
Published on January 13, 2017

When running any business it is hard not to look over your neighbours fence and start running a list of comparisons. Competition in any industry is, and will always be, a worry for most business owners.

In saying this, it’s important to remember that for the most part, competition is out of your control. What happens around you and your business is not really your business. So rather than applying too much energy on what is going on around you, we want you to look internally. From there, ensure that you have identified and maximised your ‘created’ and ‘natural’ assets so that your competition is the last thing on your mind.

So below are 3 ideas on how you can shrug that competition monkey off your back, and focus on what you can control to make your business a shining beacon in your destination!

1. Zone in on your Ideal Customers

Understanding who your Ideal Customer(s) are, through the development of Customer Persona(s), is the most crucial part of managing a business, especially in an industry like travel, which is full of similar products.

Developing Customer Personas allows you to:

  • Tailor your product experience for maximum profit
  • Refine your messaging, as you will know what messages your Ideal Customers will respond to and engage with
  • Create efficiencies in your marketing tactic selection and implementation, as it will help to eliminate unnecessary investment in low yielding tactics

Creating Customer Personas essentially makes your competition null and void, as it’s unlikely that your Competitors will target your Customer Personas at the level of detail you will be, therefore giving you the edge when it comes to cut through.

The process of developing customer persona(s) is relatively simple, but it will take time, and consultation from all of the people in your business, and also referencing your marketplace trends.

2. Refine Your Product Experience

Product features and inclusions are typically the way most people compare their business with others, and yes, it’s easy to start running the detail on a similar products, and find what you have on paper is on par with your neighbours.

But even those products who are very closely aligned on paper, can set themselves apart through remaining dynamic with their offering.

Your Actual Product

Getting the fine detail of your product experience right will pay dividends for your business.

There are a few ways you can remain relevant and stand out in the marketplace, and these include:

  • Collecting constructive feedback from your customers, and making changes (which I am sure most businesses are already doing)
  • Undertaking a regular review of your experience, and implementing recommendations
  • Keep informed of new travel trends, as it relates to your Ideal Customers
  • Ensure you are delivering a true ‘regional’ experience, by ensuring your product is advocating the brand story of the region (eg. Offering regional produce as breakfast provisions if you manage a BnB)

Amplify the before + after

Refining your actual product experience is only half of the equation, when it comes to truly creating a memorable tourism experience.

The other half of the equation is ensuring that you build positive anticipation, and create an afterglow effect for your customers – and generally these two things are the missing pieces from most tourism experiences.

So think about how you can ensure your customers get ALL of the right information before they travel, so they are well prepared and ready to experience your destination; and ensure they walk away with the best possible experience… and are compelled to share their experience with their friends and family!

3. Your People are Your Point of Difference

The people power behind your business is unlike any other, literally – there is only one you.

The main reason why people choose or recommend products and services is often the emotional connection they feel with a brand, and mostly, people feel that connection with other people and their stories, rather than the actual product itself.

So, it’s your challenge to derive your personality, and share your stories with your Ideal Customers.

A couple of things you can do to put the people in your business first, include:

  • Have an ‘About’ section on your website, that introduces all of your staff (with a photo of each person), what they do, and a little about their personality.
  • Talk in the 1st person on your website and social media. By doing this you are making your visitors feel like they are actually speaking and listening to a real person, not just marketing speak.
  • Write blog articles that highlight the personalities of the people in your business, share behind the scenes action in your business, and share helpful, personal recommendations for other activities and experiences in your destination (as travellers love local recommendations).

Competitors… what Competitors?!

So, as you can see, if you have your Ideal Customers profiled, your product experience aligned with your Ideal Customers, and your people at the forefront of your business, you have absolutely no need to worry about Competition.

Paige Rowett

Paige is a tourism marketing specialist and co-director of Tourism eSchool. Paige is passionate about working with tourism destinations & operators to create sustainable marketing strategies, specialising in marketing strategy, customer advocacy, customer experience, content marketing, website strategy, search engine optimisation & blogging.
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