Online travel agencies are all about product, performance and single transactions. But what about the relationship? Can branding and content play a role to make the relationship last and thrive?
Use content to Improve the customer experience. Lower customer churn. Keep the brand lively and relevant.
The status quo
Online travel business is a commodity product-led business. Low, close to zero, customer retention. Inconsistent branding: performance marketing, CRM, social and PR did not speak the same language and did not represent the same values. Low-quality content and inefficient editorial workflows.
Content can help to improve conversion and decrease churn, if
It is consistent across touchpoints and channels.
It is relevant and delivers value to consumers, meaningful.
does not play the pure conversion game (click baits).
Brand identity and governance
Align brand messages and identity to product strategy. Develop an all-channels encompassing content strategy. Implement a brand concierge (team and tools) to help creators and marketers to find and use the right images, words and tone, speeding up the campaign's execution.
A new Brand Studio to Overcome the fragmented organization by putting creators (writers, social media, PR, visual editors) under one umbrella to ensure consistency of execution. Work with other departments (product, performance marketing) in cross-functional teams, with dedicated people (e.g. UX copy) assigned to the projects (matrix organization).
Systems and tools
Simplify and strengthen the content tech stack with fewer, natively integrated, enterprise solutions (Adobe Experience, DAM, Analytics) plus a lightweight Brand Portal powered by Frontify.
Beyond the Brand Book.
We know that most brand books are often static artefacts, living in your intranet as a PDF document.
They are sometimes too generic to support the daily work of creators.
However, not all organizations can afford to build custom solutions or adopt full enterprise platforms.
Agile platforms like Bynder or Frontify, deliver powerful alternatives, fitting every budget.
For lastminute.com we opted for Frontify, as a lean solution to serve these use cases: Marketers needing assets and guidance to develop campaign materials. Salespeople creating decks and commercial offers. Product and SEO managers creating landing pages and product screens. Executives needing for boilerplates and material for events and presentations.
We stretched the concept of the style guide beyond its usual scope. We combined visuals with writing guidelines: we added sets of boilerplates and created a growing collection of does and don´ts with examples, including galleries of past campaigns and press releases. We created a media library structured by use cases, to help and inspire marketers and content managers in need of images. For developers, we created ready-to-use assets for page authoring and landing page builders, so to minimize the time needed to create new pages. We added templates for creating all the most frequent presentations and documents, both for expert users of Adobe IDD/Sketch and Microsoft PPT/DOC users.
Stock imagery, reloaded.
Online travel booking is a commodity business. It is a brisk business, mostly relying on fast pace performance marketing channels with lots of adverts promoting locations, experiences and cheap flights.
That means lots of stock photos.
We could not consider shifting to original photography for all our campaigns. So, the challenge was how to use stock images but making them not only brand-fit but memorable? We needed something to create immediate identification with the brand source and increasing brand recall.
We opted for a new brand element, one relatively easy to add to most pictures. The pink flamingo entered our brand imagery and later became the official brand icon of lastminute.com.