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How Travel Technology Companies Can Create Effective Messages That Will Resonate with Your Prospects and the Press

by Alan Young, President, Puzzle Partner Ltd.

Companies frequently ask me how to refine or redefine their corporate messaging so that it will resonate with their audience and make their brand stand out. I have discovered that as companies grow or decide to position themselves for new markets, one of the paramount challenges they face is ensuring prospective clients understand what they have to offer and how it can benefit them. 

Hotel and travel technology companies have become encumbered by explanation. Is it a solution or product? Support or service? Innovative or disruptive? Does it drive revenues, drive ADR, increase profitability, lower costs? For the record, if it doesn't improve these KPI's or solve a real problem, then what's the point?

Keep Your Message Simple.

Often the founders and executive team of a tech company are determined to focus their messaging on what they do, who they are and why they do it. Unfortunately too much information (TMI) in a corporate message creates confusion rather than clarity. Add to this the propensity for many companies to overuse techno-jargon, and the message really does get lost.

In The Best PR Advice You've Never Heard, from Facebook's Head of Tech Communications Caryn Marooney states, "If your messaging isn't unbelievably simple, you're missing the point."  

Below are some examples of simple messages and taglines that have created impact and traction for their respective brands:

Infor

Love your work.

We build beautiful business applications with last mile functionality and scientific insights for select industries delivered as a cloud service.

Airbnb

Rent unique accommodations from local hosts in 190+ countries. Feel at home anywhere you go in the world with Airbnb.

Uber

Uber is evolving the way the world moves. By seamlessly connecting riders to drivers through our apps, we make cities more accessible, opening up more possibilities for riders and more business for drivers. From our founding in 2009 to our launches in hundreds of cities today, Uber's rapidly expanding global presence continues to bring people and their cities closer.

(So it's a little too wordy, but you definitely get the message - pun intended.)

Here are some guidelines related to keeping the message simple, while creating a value position and story to help you break through the clutter.

Do:

  • Know your audience and build buyer personas

  • Understand exactly what your company does at the most basic level and what is your true value proposition
  • Evaluate your competitors position statements
  • Convey succinct messages
  • Think outside the box and don't be afraid to be different - tech is a very cluttered space
  • Be ruthless in editing the message

Don't:

  • Produce your message to appease the CEO or the Board

  • Make your messaging overly technical
  • Follow the crowd
  • Use flowery marketing language
  • Insert irrelevant details
  • Use unbelievable or unsubstantiated statements that can cost you credibility

Make Your Brand Human

The travel marketplace is elbow-to-elbow with emerging technology brands. The only way to stand out is to connect with people on an emotional level. How will your product or service change their lives? Make them more successful? Help them be more efficient? For instance, Infor's message 'Love your work' really strikes a human chord. 

After you've determined what compelling value your product or service offers, then you must tailor the message to ensure that all the various buyers and influencers firmly distinguish what your company delivers to them or the market.

By humanizing your brand and keeping the messaging relatable, you will ultimately achieve a higher level of visibility, stickiness and engagement. Only then can you delve deeper and begin the kinds of discussions that matter - the kind that pushes you down the path to winning their business.

Simple Doesn't Mean Stupid

All of this said, don't underestimate your audience. Consumers at all levels are very savvy these days, and they are bombarded with messaging noise at every turn. Companies must go the extra mile and share their unique story in a way that connects the world. Easier said then done, but a good start is to keep your messages simple and to the point - but not so simple that your audience is disinterested or unimpressed. 

About Alan Young

Alan E. Young is the President of Puzzle Partner Ltd. and Co-founder of Next Big Thing Travel & Hospitality (nbtworld.com). Previously, Alan has held executive level positions with startup companies such as Newtrade Technologies, (acquired by Expedia), Hotel Booking Solutions (acquired by IBS Software) and TrustYou. Alan is past Chair of The Board of Directors of The OpenTravel Alliance, and been very involved with other industry associations most notably AHLA, HEDNA and HTNG.  With over two decades of experience in the travel and hospitality technology world, Alan specializes in helping innovative companies achieve winning performance and dramatic growth.

alan@puzzlepartner.ca / 705-241-5244

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