How do you get packaging just right? How do you come up with ideas and practical methodology for product design for tourism services and experiences? And is it different if you have a hotel, a local tour or a caravan park?
What does success look like?
People quite often create deals and packages on the run; they are reactive instead of being proactive. But creating GOOD deals and packages, testing them and then rolling them out is actually the way to do it well.
We create packages for two reasons.
- ONE – Public Relations, Engagement, Reach and Brand Amplification
- TWO – To actually sell our products or services
We are in a different time so lets dust off the crystal ball
So, what will the future traveller want? And are we already seeing it? There are those that in an average year would be spending $20-50k per person on a trip overseas that are now looking for a travel solution in Australia. There are those that would have travelled to Bali or Fiji every year on a budget of $2-3k per person as well as a few weekends away who are now looking for new domestic trips with different experiences.
Families are trying to reconnect, couples are trying to get away, older folk are trying to travel with like-minded people. People travel for business. We have to look at the traveller not at ourselves or our products. What do they want, desire, need and what of our products or services can deliver on this.
There is anecdotal feedback that a sector of the market is looking for more meaningful experiences. And while this was evident prior to COVID there are scholarly articles that indicate this is on the rise. There is clear indication that a sector of the market is looking for Instagram-able moments and others are looking to simply get off the grid.
There are those that pack full their holidays and others that simply want to do as much nothingness as possible, there are people that plan to the hilt and others that want to decide as they go. There are those that want to uncover the history, the stories and be educated along the way there are those that just want to empty their mind or focus on themselves.
The simplest way of thinking about packaging is understanding what your current customer does and why, and then how you or your business can be the solution to this. The adage of ‘you can’t be all things to all people’ when selling or marketing your product is actually wrong.
Some of what the customer wants is obvious, and some is best gathered by asking them directly. Your team should be doing this live because in our industry we can. We are a face-to-face service based industry.
You can spend all sorts of money and time on “overarching research” and some of it will be really relevant, or you can do it yourself or have someone assist you, so it is specific to your business. Let’s look at a really simple example of how this might occur.
Surveys after an experience – Hmm how many complete them? Perhaps add a gift or special for a repeat visit to ensure they do complete your survey. Then, add a question asking them what else they did during their time in your region. This will help inform who your potential package partners could be.
Communicate with your customers prior to an experience such as when you send confirmations or tickets etc to engage. Why not ask them then what are they planning to do.
What really is Packaging?
Packaging is the way that associated products and services are put together to form a package deal.
A package can be defined as a combination of two or more products, presented as a single sale, so the customer sees an advantage compared with buying the items separately.
Packaging offers create opportunities to target specific markets and explore new ones, particularly during shoulder and off-season periods.
With a package individual pricing is not revealed to the customer.
Whilst ‘packaging’ tourism products might include flights, transfers, basic meals and activities, ‘bundling’ tourism products is quite different.
Product ‘bundling’ is about providing complementary products to like-minded travelers.
Rather that dictating the experiences that a visitor will have; it focuses on making them aware of what your business AND your region has to offer. It assists in making a visit to your area more appealing by enhancing the perceived value of the overall experience. It’s not price driven.
The key to effectively ‘bundling’ your experience for return is to cross-promote like-minded experiences.
To create “cut through” you may bundle your experience with something “out of the box.”
Working together = greater visitor numbers, greater reach and increased expenditure.
So, what do you do next?
Firstly, identify what your business needs are, for example, you need more weeknight bookings, longer stays, more low season tour sales. Be clear about what the business driver is for you. Your goals and objectives will vary from package to package, depending on target market, your business, region, and availability of complementary services.
- Identify your target markets.
Select a like-minded partner whose product will appeal to your target audience, but who will also have similar business principles and values to you. Or decide which of your own internal products or services can be packaged to increase appeal and achieve your goals.
- Design the package.
What has changed since COVID is that there is an absolute increase in Travel Agents wanting to know more about domestic product and thus more sellers for your product. So, make sure your package is commissionable.
- How do you take it to market? Who is going to do what and when?
Use your RTO, your greater team, your own assets including website, social media, newsletter or EDM to customer database and partner channels to promote & distribute your package.
To be in control of your own destiny and make it easier on your customer ensure they can book easily with you and that you easily honour any third-party bookings.
- And of course, gather Feedback from your customers, your team and your package partners.
So now what does Successful Packaging look like?
- Your package is quirky and different and makes it into the relevant media✅
- The customers enjoy the experience that your package provides and become your advocates✅
- You sell lots of your packages and it makes a profit✅
- New people are introduced to your business that would never have come without your package✅
- When distributed, your package receives multiple click throughs, but guests still buy your lead in product✅
- Due to the popularity of your package and its design it promotes your region and creates a unique selling point✅
Created a good package or deal? Send it to our team for extra promotion on VisitGeelongBellarine.com.au.
Thank you to Clockwise Consulting for providing this informative blog. This article follows on from a session Jakki from clockwise provided to Tourism Greater Geelong & The Bellarine Members. Miss the session?