How To Win Brand Tourists

Driving through Central Park this weekend, I saw four tourists walking single file along the car-clogged road that connects West 96th Street to the Upper East Side. They were hiking on the edge of the street. Central Park was hidden from them – and from traffic — by a high wall.

With the beautiful park only steps away, I figured those folks got some pretty bad advice for how to cross the park. They looked hot and unhappy. They probably were hot and unhappy. That dirty trek may well be what they will remember most about their trip to New York.

Which got me thinking about how to frame a marketing campaign to appeal to the tourists for your brand.  You know, the ones who think they might like you but are just checking you out?  What does a tourist need to really fall in love with you?

Photo Credit: The New York Times

  1. Great maps.  They need to understand your brand’s layout.
  2. Local cell phone coverage.  They need to be able to call for help at any time.
  3. An up-to-date guidebook. To show them what’s new and improved!
  4. A good concierge.  A local guide, who can tailor advice to their wants and needs.
  5. A big spectacle. They need to be wowed.
  6. An opportunity to discover something on their own, because that’s what they’re going to remember the most.

When building a marketing campaign, I’d say that 1-4 are the cost of entry.  Brands need to be clear about who they are, be easy to get access to, feel like a personal friend, be fresh and relevant.  But what is often overlooked is that element of wow and, even more difficult, personal discovery that feels unique to them.

Whether it’s a special offer for Facebook fans only, a free you-name-it (coffee, flower bouquet, waltz-lessons on 42nd Street) when you least expect it, a billboard in Times Square with your photo on it, what can you create for your brand tourists to discover that’s so unexpected, they’ll think they discovered it themselves?

What’s your story?