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Being Well Branded

Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon.com once said, “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.”

He’s absolutely right. If you want a successful travel agency business, you need to have successful branding in place. What is branding? It’s your logo, your website, your promotional materials, your slogan and, most importantly, your message. Who are you?

For example, when you hear these company names — Burger King, McDonald’s, Shell, Mobil – do you know exactly what they do and what you can expect from them? Of course you do. If I sing to you, “You deserve a break today,” I almost guarantee that you can finish that jingle. Your customers expect the same from your business too. Do they know who you are? Do they know what you do? It needs to be a very clear message.

My name is Tammy Levent and I own Elite Travel. Here’s a well-known secret – Tammy Levent is a branded name, not my real name. My real name is Stamatia Kavourakis. It came to me a few years back to use Tammy, my nickname, as my business name because it means perfectionist and that fit my business perfectly. Now my last name, which isn’t mine, is Levent, which means beautiful. The word “elite” means the best of everything. For the past 21 years, my business, Elite Travel, has had the same couple as a logo. Now put it all together. A happy couple who wants the best of everything comes to me, Tammy Levent, whose name means perfectionist and beautiful. All positive, successful words that paint a picture to my customer of who I am and what I can do for them.

Warren Buffet once said, “Your premium brand had better be delivering something special, or it’s not going to get the business.” Exactly.

Now if your name is Jim Smith, it doesn’t mean you have to change it or that you even need to create a jingle, but perhaps tweaking your brand can help you to improve your business. For example, don’t use Jim Smith Travel as your business name. Yes, it’s obvious what you do, but is a little weak. How about Smith World Travel? Smith Luxury Travel? It’s a clearer message and brings in the right customers and customers are brand loyal. Once they know your brand, they remember you. And, as long as you provide terrific service, they’ll keep coming back.

Tammy Levent founder of TravelAgentSuccessKit (T.A.S.K)

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