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Barbados Marketing Newsletter


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Featured Travel Portals

Your Brand Integrity
Your brand is your product. It is a promise and an expectation. A good brand defines you and endears customers to you, it creates the conditions to choose you above all others and it creates loyalty and trust.

Brand integrity is a measure of how trustworthy the market perceives the Brand and the company behind it. It is the sum total of the product, its value, the message and the behavior of the company, its representatives, owners and its employees.

Your brand Integrity is very influenced by the media and channels used to present, market and deliver the brand and the products and services. When you use an OTA channel like Expedia consider how it can impact on your brand.

The medium and its message may not always be in your brand's best interest.

Brand Integrity and OTA Channels

Max Starkov warns: "Many hoteliers cede control of their inventory and pricing to online intermediaries (Expedia etc) at an enormous cost financially and to brand integrity" (Max Starkov, President & CEO, Hospitality Business Strategies Inc). The table below takes a closer look at brand integrity in the channels and the implications for your marketing.

The medium and the message

The Medium - Choice of channel often reflects on the Brand. It is not always good to be seen as Expedia or as Kayak etc. In many cases a different drum attracts travelers to the small hotels. Many travelers are looking for a personal touch.

The Message - The message is much more than content. It is also about form, function and process. In the OTA channel the primary process is about costing and comparing options in order to make a buy decision. It is an important service not available on a hotel website or on many destination sites. You choose to buy at store X for many reasons but if there are no price tags and you have to go to the counter to get a price, would you bother? Creating a message that is not fully integrated with the product is similarly dissonant. The shopping experience should be fully fluid. If you are in an OTA channel, many travelers will seek out your website. They expect to have equivalent value and more personal service.

Promise & Expectation - A Brand is a promise. It can say we are a small family hotel, we are local, we are friendly, we are fun, we are dignified, we are different, we care. What is the Brand of an OTA? Expedia mission statement says: "We are on a mission to be the largest and most profitable reseller of travel in the world".

Differentiation & Personality - Differentiation and personality are conveyed by the suppliers' website, by its individual tastes, its use of colour, its layout and its processes. The OTA does not create a brand personality for its suppliers. Properties are compared on features and price and location, but the brand is the OTA, the hotels is its product, and all product website look the same.

Relationship - Travelers build a relationship with their suppliers. If you have bought from an OTA and you got what you wanted, you will most likely go there again to check out other options (properties, products, destinations). Creating the OTA relationship diminishes the hotel brand and can result in loss of repeat business

Loyalty - OTAs are building their own loyalty program. Much like the airlines, small hotels can and should reward repeat clients and clients that refer others to them. Loyalty programmes work. The visitor's loyalty should be to the hotel . AXSES has loyalty solutions for the hotel brand. Appropriate use of branding and loyalty programmes can significantly increase repeat business.

Ownership - With arcRes, the database belongs to the supplier. This database is unique in that it captures leads as well as committed shoppers. arcRes database marketing allows hotels to market directly to their leads and their guests. OTAs have their own marketing tools, aimed at promoting their own Brand.

Sustainability - if you don't own the brand and don't have the relationship and loyalty, your business will not be sustainable.

© AXSES 2010 - Branding Concepts By AXSES

Example of OTA vs Direct marketing Channel | more >> see our blog - branding at a crossroads

AXSES Travel Shopping for Brand Exposure

The AXSES travel shopping network offers excellent brand exposure and a unique shopping experience for travelers. It is unique in offering easy and direct access to your website while providing travelers with the services they like on OTA sites. In fact the AXSES shopping network delivers much more!

AXSES many point-of-sale opportunities link travelers directly to your website. The network also gives shoppers information they need to build interest and desire for your brand. It allows shoppers to search and select brands by features and fit, and to process information consistently and immediately (find suitable properties, view rates, rooms, features, photos, get holiday quotes, compare option, save, book, go to your website). It gives shoppers a reason to return offering them their own pages of their interest, with direct links to the brands selected.

AXSES entire network is driven by arcRes
powering our innovative and first of a kind bookable systems; bookable-ads, bookable-banners, bookable-lists and bookable-maps etc. These shopping channels allow shoppers to add your brand to their shopping list.

Many Caribbean Travel Portals:
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more >>> Travel Shopping

New Collaborative Marketing from AXSES

AXSES is now introducing a new collaborative marketing solution where we help you use technology, brand and market your products, get exposure, and close more direct sales.

More on this will follow in the next newsletter.

In the meantime please call or email me if you want to explore this new initiative:

juliah 'at'


AXSES is a travel marketing company building marketing and management tools for travel suppliers. Axses owns over 30 travel portals promoting direct sales to its hotel and tourism clients.

AXSES supplier tools
include Internet marketing portals, website tools like calendars, blogs, content management, guest tracking and travel planning, dynamic packaging, comparison shopping, reservations and bookings systems.


AXSES Travel Marketing -

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Janelle Knight - jknight (at)
Kayelyne Burgess - kburgess (at)

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