Travel Impressions Unveils New Branding at Cancun Event
Photo by David Cogswell
Travel Impressions kicked off its annual Best of the Best event in recognition of its most productive travel agent partners at Secrets The Vine in Cancun Nov. 19. The gathering included representatives of the travel agencies that make up about 60 percent of Travel Impressions’ revenue.
The company used the event as the platform to unveil several new initiatives and the current focuses of the company’s resources. The most visible of the new initiatives is a new logo and re-launching of the brand.
Travel Impressions’ President and CEO Jeff Clarke emphasized that the company is not re-branding but refreshing the brand, and providing a new tagline that defines what the company has stood for for 40 years.
“The new logo is visibly different, not only from an aesthetic standpoint, but also more reflecting of what we do,” said Clarke. “The purpose of the new logo was not to redefine the brand. The brand is in an incredibly strong place now, not only internally but externally. It was really to allow us to refresh the messaging that the brand represents. It was more about ‘your success is our destination.’”
The company worked for more than a year with Austin & Williams, a Long Island-based advertising agency, to come up with the new logo and tagline.
“It’s a powerful message not only from an agent perspective, because whatever we do it is 100 percent about travel agents,” said Clarke. “And their success is truly our destination. But it also goes to our resort partners, who are incredibly loyal to us. And it’s also about our employees. Their success is our destination as well. So the messaging is truly a 360-degree message that is the focal point of everything we do at Travel Impressions, whether it’s for our travel partners, our suppliers or our employees.”
The tagline, said Clarke, “really defines what we do every day. We’ve been doing this for 40 years and everything we do is to help agents be successful, help our resort partners be successful, and ultimately we want our employees to be successful. It’s a great opportunity to do that, but also to freshen it up. Our logo was I think over 30 years old. So we just freshened it up, added a little bit of orange to the spectrum, a little bit of gray, brightened it up a little.”
Another major focus of TI during the upcoming period will be its Cuba program. The company’s sister brand, Apple Vacations, recently launched a Cuba program, but Travel Impressions’ Cuba program is targeting a different market.
“We don’t want to compete with Apple,” said Clarke. “We are targeting a higher-end market, a more affluent traveler. Ours is more about creating an experience.”
Travel Impressions also unveiled a new rewards program for travel agents, the first in the company’s history. Under the new rewards program, travel agents will accumulate points for bookings they make and the points can be used for purchase of travel, merchandise or gift cards.
The next phase in Travel Impressions’ evolution will be technology based, Clarke said, as the company is rebuilding its booking technology “from scratch.”
“We are building the best-in-class technology tool,” said Clarke. “Part of that is that it will enable agents to be more productive. Agents are part of the building process. We have an agent advisory board that’s engaged with us to help us develop this platform for them.
Travel Impressions is also focusing a lot on developing a new booking technology and agent interface. The company will spend 2016 developing the new system and will roll it out late in the year.
“One of the advantages of being part of Apple Leisure Group and the Bain Capital portfolio is access to capital to be able to make significant investments in our technology platform,” said Clarke. “I look at that as a huge advantage for us. We’ll be the leader in the technology platform for travel agents.”
The Best of the Best event will continue over the weekend and attendees will return home on Sunday.
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