Forecast 2012: Supporting Brand USA
Is there a tougher job in the tourism industry?
Creating an all-encompassing brand / marketing message for a country with such breadth and depth that a majority of her citizens barely explore from sea to shining sea during a lifetime.
As we enter 2012, this challenge awaits our peers at Brand USA.
And frankly, I am excited.
Excited to finally have an agency promoting international travel to the U.S. Excited that our industry no longer has to look toward Canada, Australia or New Zealand for examples in national branding. Excited that tourism is being supported on a national level.
But for all of my (and your) excitement, there will certainly be those who will undervalue the work of Brand USA by chastising brand positioning, logo direction and even the ratio of summer ads to winter ads featured in the campaign (an example, but you know this will happen).
The potential criticism and rejection of our new national message does not exclusively harm Brand USA, but rather all DMOs.
Which is why Brand USA needs our support.
For years DMOs have took their message of investment and community benefits to higher levels for approval and support. Boards, city councils, state senators, governors, etc.
A DMO’s message, and for that matter very existence, has always required the blessing of a higher authority.
That begins to change with Brand USA.
Like our colleagues in Switzerland, the U.K. or Germany, a strong and successful national tourism brand provides a trickle-down effect for all tourism organizations.
Brand USA means acknowledgment that tourism can provide an economic answer in times of uncertainty.
Brand USA means the story of tourism goes from business section filler to nightly national news story.
Brand USA means you can spend less time defending the economics of tourism, and more time talking about the joys of tourism.
You need to support Brand USA as if you were part of her board, leadership and staff.
Because if Brand USA succeeds, your DMO succeeds as well.