Related: PGAV Destinations Creates a First-of-Its-Kind Exhibit for the Saint Louis Zoo / Saint Louis Science Centre Announces New Exhibition Hall designed by PGAV Destinations / PGAV Destinations Announces Opening at Biltmore Estate / Branded Attractions: Visitors Experience Beer and Boats at Rotterdam and Heineken Centers
You’ve heard it all. Your brand is what people think of you—your image. A brand is a promise to provide a product or service in a consistent way. A brand is a value proposition. Brand is an organization's rallying cry, its DNA. It’s what you stand for. Destination brands have distinct realms of their image in the mind of the customer. Each one presents an opportunity to differentiate from competition and offer a consumer benefit. Destinations reach their maximum potential only when they leverage all four. By Tom Owen of PGAV Destinations
If you visit the Empire State Building, you go to a building with the city surrounding it. Up at the observation tower, the place becomes an oasis high above bustling Manhattan. What benefits does the place provide for the guest? Some people like the high energy feeling of being in the city, but they may also like taking a break from the intensity.
People go to a Destination. It exists in a physical place. A destination should try to get the most out of the power of its place.
Hike in the canyon. Ride the coaster. Attend a show. People want to do something at a destination—something unique, something to brag about or something to share. As a fundamental part of the brand, experiences of a destination provide key benefits to guests. A destination can reach its full potential when it promotes the benefits of unique experiences and delivers on the promise.
Sometimes a destination epitomizes or evokes an attitude, value, or mindset that has meaning beyond the physical limits of the site. When a Destination can symbolize an aspirational concept, it can form a powerful connection with its guests. The destination becomes a touchstone for the concept and people return to renew their connection to it.
That is exactly how it works at Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC. The Biltmore name has come to symbolize “gracious hospitality,” and guests draw inspiration from it. A product line including wine and home furnishings extends the connection beyond the estate boundaries.
What role does the organization behind the Destination play in the brand? The Niagara Parks emblem conveys tremendous trust among regional guests, who want to spend their money with the organization that helps preserve the nature and heritage of Niagara Falls. The organizational dimension of a destination may also make a big difference to future employees, donors, business partners, granting agencies, or other organizations. People want to associate with a cause or organization they feel good about, one that expresses their own values and aspirations.
When people think of your destination, do they long to be in the place, get excited by the experience, aspire to the values represented and trust the organization behind it? When you can answer yes to all four, people will attribute a high value to your destination which relates directly to attendance and financial success.
About PGAV Destinations
PGAV Destinations is a global leader in the planning and design of unique destinations. Now in its fifth decade, the practice has evolved to become the ideal destination-consulting partner, skilled at developing growth-oriented master plans and translating those plans into successful projects. No other firm offers such an integrated approach to destination planning.
PGAV’s key clients include industry leaders such as Delaware North, SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment, the Biltmore Companies, Bass Pro Shops, Ameristar Casinos, Universal Studios, The Gettysburg Foundation, Niagara Parks Commission, The National Aviary, and many others. Recent assignments include planning and design at many of the world’s “must see” destinations, including the Grand Canyon, Biltmore Estate, Kennedy Space Center, Hearst Castle, the Georgia Aquarium, the Hoover Dam, and SeaWorld Adventure Parks.