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Visual identity for your travel company – beginner’s guide

Branding, Design

You’ve started your own travel or hospitality business and wonder how to develop its unique visual identity. You may have been on the market for a long time, but you would like to keep an eye on how others see it. 

Branding yourself as a travel expert is a challenge that requires knowledge and consistency. If you are not sure where to start or wonder if you even need a visual identity at this moment, this article will help you make the right decisions. 

Below you will find answers to the most frequently asked questions and doubts related to creating a visual identity in the travel and hospitality industry. 

what is the difference between Visual identity and brand?

A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another. 

~ Seth Godin

In short, a brand is a reason why people choose your service. Without a brand, it’s hard to get customer loyalty. You should also know that a brand is not only a visual aspect but above all the experience and feelings that accompany your guests when they contact you.

So what’s a visual identity or brand identity? It is primarily all the visual materials you show to your guests and audience. Whether you’re creating a personal brand or launching a new product, the message you sent to the world should be clear. Identity helps you to send the right signal, attract their attention, and make them understand that your service is for them.

What are the main objectives of visual identity?

The cost of starting a travel business may make brand identity seem like a luxury. Although, would it be wise for your company to overlook it? 

You already learned that having a strong brand can help you establish relationships with your customers. Visual identity can support this process.  This is how.

What are the tasks visual identity has and how does it help you succeed?

  • Helps to get more customers and gain their loyalty,
  • May help your brand to be identified faster by people who need our services or products,
  • Creates a sense of trust among guests,
  • Helps to stay in the consumers’ memory for longer, thanks to which they will come back to you sooner,
  • Give you a chance to stand out from the crowd,
  • Supports you in promotional activities,
  • Reinforces establishing business relationships,
  • Increases the market value of the company,
  • Supports its development,
  • It can motivate your employees and make them feel part of something bigger.

 Presenting a brand consistently across all platforms can increase revenue by up to 23%. (Forbes)

Before starting work on visual identification

A professional brand designer, apart from offering you graphic elements of brand identity, will try to look deeper and create a strong foundation. The so-called discovery stage (series of meetings and interviews) is a tool to recognize your needs, understand the specifics of the company and look at what direction the brand will be heading in the next years. Together with you, a designer will try to answer key questions about the brand and its mission.

Check what my brand identity process looks like.

What specific information is collected during the discovery phase?

Mission, positioning, values ​​, and goals –   All of these questions are elements of brand strategy that you as a travel business owner need to answer to help the designer create your brand’s image.   

The act of putting it down on paper will help them focus on aspects that will attract the right audience and people who need your help.  

Market and target group – before you even think about any style, color, or form, you should know who you are talking to and what are the needs of these people. Knowledge of who your guests are will allow creating an image around the brand that resonates with their preferences, dreams, and values;

Customer avatar – you need to be even more specific to reach the right visitors. Narrowing your target audience to 1-5 avatars of ideal customers will help you focus on the right target group.

A few elements of visual identity that every travel company should have

Many people while thinking about the brand see the logo as the main component. This is an important element of branding, but just one of its many. Still, a good logo design can help you become recognized. However, it will not perform miracles unless it is part of a larger picture.

Depending on your niche and its specifics, the elements of visual identity will vary.

Distinctive visual elements of brand identity

Once you know your “WHY, what customer you want to attract, you are ready to determine which elements of identity will be most important to you. What materials will allow you to effectively build a relationship with the audience?

Logo – the role of a great logo is to identify the brand and facilitate its faster recognition. Although the logo alone will not guarantee success, it will allow your audience to remember you. A professionally designed logo, in line with several basic design principles, will represent your company and make you look more proficient;
Typography, colors – each branding should contain typefaces and a basic range of colors. These are elements that definitely help distinguish your brand from others. According to Forbes, color improves brand recognition by 80%.
Image and illustration usage – When you design all kinds of printed and digital materials, you’ll probably need to use photos or illustrations to make your service look even more attractive. Before creating materials, you should determine how you will use them and what their overall dynamic will be;
Other elements – packaging, merchandising, social media templates… No matter what materials you need to produce, always make sure that they follow the same rules as all other elements;
Brandbook – guidelines for materials related to branding – is a guidebook that shows all the rules for creating an identity. This helps maintain consistency in communication and stay in the minds of your guests for longer.

Find more about distinguishing visual elements your brand should have

Things to keep in mind when creating your visual identity and after

The visual identity should serve you for years. Create your image consistently, help you establish relationships with customers, and become memorable. To achieve this, however, there are a few important points to keep in mind.

Stand out – choosing the right elements will help you stand out from the crowd. This does not mean that we must be different at all costs. The main purpose of creating a brand image is to stand out from the competition but also position your business in the right market segment.
Be consistent – this is one of the most important principles of effective branding. Create and follow rules for brand identity elements. Being consistent will help you to be remembered;
Learn the preferences of the target group – without knowing what they like, you can mislead them or simply reach the wrong group of people. It can cost you time and money;
Know the trends – I always say – don’t follow trends blindly, especially when it comes to brand identity, but knowing what people are looking for, what they are interested in will help you be visually flexible and up-to-date;
Be flexible – while branding is about consistency, it’s natural that your brand will change over the years. Your brand identity elements should be flexible enough to stand the test of time;
Remember the rules – follow the brandbook! If your brand needs change and you don’t know how to implement new elements into your brand strategy, contact a professional who will help you find the best solutions.

 

How to find a designer who will help you build the corporate identity

As an entrepreneur, it is important for you to surround yourself with people who will help you grow your business and take it to the heights. A designer who will spend time to understand your needs, propose appropriate solutions and help you implement them is a treasure for your still developing travel company.

When you are looking for the right person, you need to be sure that they are trustworthy, communicative, and ready to listen to your needs.

So what are the characteristics of an ideal designer?

  • Listens and asks the right questions,
  • Is communicative and stays in touch with you,
  • Informs you about the stages of work and explains the design process,
  • Shows initiative and is open to discussions,
  • You feel that you can ask a question and you will get a comprehensive answer,
  • Has good references from confirmed sources,
  • You feel that they care about your needs and understand market issues,
  • Has extensive knowledge and is able to use it in accordance with the situation.

More on how to find the perfect freelance designer you can find in this article

Does your corporate identity work?

It is hard to be objective and verify that our visual identity reflects the essence of our travel business and reaches the right target group. That is why it is so important to work with people who are able to look at the issue from a new perspective, ask appropriate questions, and propose solutions. Regardless of whether you are just starting with your company, or you want to redesign your existing brand, finding the right visual language will help you achieve success.

Hi, I'm Magda

Hi, I'm Magda

Brand Specialist

I believe small brands have the power to change the world. I want to provide all the tools they need to feel empowered, no matter what their budget is. After all, every brand deserves equal chances to become recognizable.

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