Tell clients what they’ll get if they enter your shop or click on your site, says Miles Morgan, managing director of Miles Morgan Travel

The past few weeks have seen a lot of talk about brands, rebranding and the value of history in a brand.

Is it all just talk? Does it matter? Is it just the marketers that care, not customers?

I have a simple thought about what really drives your decision when you walk down a high street or click on a Google results page.

I believe it is often familiarity with the name of the company or its brand. Never heard of them? Then often it is “no thanks” and, therefore, no sale.

So when it comes to a rebrand on the high street, it is important that other drivers are in place.

The location of the shop and the customer’s knowledge of it often means they walk in without realising.

I was Lunn Poly managing director when we rebranded to Thomson. The company already had great brand awareness, with an excellent reputation among holidaymakers. All we were really doing was putting 900 new billboards in sites with high footfall – a sensible move when trying to turn a UK-centric business into a pan-European brand. Fast forward to today, and Tui is targeting a global audience.

Familiarity breeds content

The other key driver is the reassurance when customers walk into a shop and see a familiar face. More often than not, that is the biggest winner for retaining clients at this time.

The announcement that Hays Travel is to rebrand Bath Travel is not a surprise, even after 91 great years. After two years educating clients that behind the scenes the ownership has changed, any Bath Travel clients truly resistant have probably left. Staff, of course, will be key to its success.

John Hays and his team have ideas to become a national player and leverage their efforts and spend with social media and pay-per-click across the UK, not just the northeast and northwest.

Become a local authority

So what about Miles Morgan Travel and other small guys out there?

Big is not always beautiful and I’m sure small agents competing on Bath Travel’s patch will see a great opportunity to become the ‘local’ agent for clients to support over faceless national companies.

To achieve this, opening the door in the morning and offering great service will not be enough. You have to spend some cash to tell clients what they will get from you, so when they walk down the high street, they decide to visit you.

Your business and brand must stand for something and target certain clients. With the online world, it is even more important to stand for something, as Google’s prices increasingly eat into businesses’ profits.

This is where clever and well-targeted social media campaigns score. Remember to build your brand and its values around your target clients.

Building a successful, well-known brand will stand you in great shape in the long run.

As Miles Morgan Travel approaches its 10th birthday, we feel we are starting to crack this.

Watch out for our January TV campaign and you’ll see how we are putting some of these strategies successfully into effect. Standing still is not an option.