Ten Best Practices for a New Tourism Brand Launch

April 16, 2024
A woman holding a tourism brand pamphlet

To launch a tourism brand is as exciting as it is nuanced. From originating the ideas to seeing a new logo and other brand assets roll out, destination marketers are likely to be exhausted just from the creative output alone. But then, it’s time to actually launch the new brand!

Cover all of your bases and ensure your tourism brand launch reaches the widest possible audiences among your targets with these ten best practices.

1. Design a Key Messaging Brochure

When NASA launches humans to the moon, it’s obvious what’s happening. For a new tourism brand launch, however, it’s not always intuitive. After all, your city or region isn’t new per se, so what’s going on? A one-pager full of the key messages that you created as the foundation of your brand will make it clear.

These key messages should nail the top five or so reasons to visit your destination and use coherent, engaging language to guide every step of your launch.

2. Update Email Signatures

It almost seems too easy, but think about how many emails we all receive every day. Each time you hit “send” it should be an opportunity to highlight your new brand.

Prep assets for your entire staff to use in their email signatures ahead of your tourism brand launch. It’s an easy way to generate visibility without any extra investment.

3. Prepare Social Announcements

The day of the launch isn’t the time to brainstorm copy for social networks. Messages for all relevant networks need to be prepared in advance so that your DMO can distribute them as part of the general package of assets to share with partners, economic development organizations, stakeholders, and even the media.

Keep in mind that social media copy needs eye-catching images to go with it, or if you’re on TikTok, some stellar video content. It’s time to tap into some professional content creators here — unless you have a rockstar intern who is a whizz with video skills.

4. Create Branded Swag

Short of opening up a gift shop — but maybe one day — any good tourism brand launch should come with a little swag. It’s an easy way to spread your new logo via everyday items. Be sustainability-minded about how you prepare swag, however, as many tourism professionals aren’t so thrilled about another tote bag or another water bottle. 

Think locally. Perhaps there is a bakery that can provide a cake mix in a bag that you can cobrand by affixing your logo to the bag. Look for local designers to collaborate on something beyond a tote bag — maybe a tee shirt or hat that people will actually want to wear. Let your imagination, and your local businesses, guide you beyond swag made overseas, if you can.

5. Create Digital Brand Packet for Partners

Remember that a destination is only as successful as its partners are, so bring them into the fold to be part of your tourism brand launch. By providing them with digital brand packets, they have all of the assets needed to spread your message to their audiences and clients.

Include everything already mentioned, from key messages to logos. Having this sort of digital content on hand will make it easy to share your brand launch in a few clicks or taps.

6. Connect with Stakeholders and Investors

Stakeholders and investors need to know how you are working for their interests, too. A well-crafted visual e-newsletter sent out with your new branding and key messages is a powerful way to get everyone on the same page. 

Providing them with the news and creative assets will allow them to support the new tourism brand launch. And it gives you a place to use that digital brand packet (see number 2)!

7. Host Workshops with Local Partners

Email alerts and social media announcements are requisite, but an actual workshop that provides some face to face connection — even if it is over a videoconference — is another key way to boost your tourism brand launch. Take the new messaging directly to partners and business leaders in your destination.

These workshops allow you the chance to offer insight into the new brand while educating your partners. It also gives them the chance to ask you questions that you may have overlooked in the initial brand creation process.

8. Promote the Brand with Sponsorships

Remember that your DMO serves local communities first and foremost. They are the ones opening their home up to visitors, after all. Look for ways to partner your new brand with local events like festivals or concerts to help get the new logo and messaging out there. 

Locals are effective ambassadors for any DMO, so having them informed and on your side is key.

9. Pick a Passport Program

For destinations with wine and beverage options, this has been a popular option, but really any sort of passport program can exist. In a destination with lots of chocolate shops, build a chocolate passport program. Numerous orchard experiences? Lots of vintage shops? Cool coffee shops? 

Any experience can be part of a passport as long as there are multiple venues.

10. Enjoy it!

If you are having fun with your tourism brand launch, that enthusiasm will rub off on others. Getting your partners, local community members, and, eventually, visitors excited about the destination’s brand is the most rewarding part about the whole effort. 

That, as well as the accolades and awards that will come when everyone notices and celebrates your new iconic brand. Or at least we can all dream, right?

Looking to boost your destination with a new brand launch? DCI has more than 60 years of helping destinations rethink and rebrand, from creative ideas to the official launch. Get in touch with Dariel Curren at [email protected] to learn more.

Written by

Dariel Curren

Executive Vice President