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DestinationBrandingSevenSisters ICBM

TableofContents
1. OBJECTIVE ............................................................................................................................................. 2
1.1 Vision............................................................................................................................................. 2
1.2 Mission.......................................................................................................................................... 2
2. PURPOSEOFRESEARCH........................................................................................................................ 3
2.1 Brandingoftheneglectedbeauty:NortheastIndia .................................................................... 3
2.2 ApplyingthelearningsfrombrandingofKerala,Australia,Malaysiaetc..................................... 3
3. DESTINATIONBRANDING...................................................................................................................... 5
4. WHOAREYOURCUSTOMERS? ............................................................................................................. 7
5. DESTINATIONPOSITIONING.................................................................................................................. 8
6. DIFFERENTIATINGTHEDESTINATION................................................................................................... 9
6.1 UsingPointofDifferentiation(s)(POD)......................................................................................... 9
6.2 PODsofNEIndia.......................................................................................................................... 9
7. PROPOSINGABRANDINGMODELFORBRANDIMPLEMENTATION................................................... 10
8. BRANDCONSUMPTIONFACTORS....................................................................................................... 15
9. TOOLSFORCONVEYINGTHEBRANDIDENTITY .................................................................................. 15
10. FUNDINGAVENUESFORTHEBRANDINGPROJECT ........................................................................ 17
11. PUBLICPRIVATEPARTNERSHIP(PPP) .............................................................................................. 19
12. BENEFITSOFBRANDBUILDING ...................................................................................................... 20
12.1 TheBenefitsforYourCustomer.................................................................................................. 20
12.2 TheBenefitsforYourCommunitysMarketers .......................................................................... 20
12.3 TheBenefitsforYourCommunityasaWhole............................................................................ 20
13. EVALUATINGMARKETINGEFFECTIVENESS..................................................................................... 21
14. REFERENCES.................................................................................................................................... 22
15. PRINTADVERTISEMENTS ................................................................................................................ 23

DestinationBrandingSevenSisters ICBM

1. OBJECTIVE
Long term objective expressed as vision and mission statements:
1.1 Vision
To make Seven Sisters of India the Numero-Uno global tourist destination.

1.2 Mission
To spread awareness in India and rest of the world about the existence of Seven Sisters of
India
To position Seven Sisters of India as unexplored paradise of the planet.
To help the development of tourism industry in this place by commercial Marketing.
DestinationBrandingSevenSisters ICBM

2. PURPOSEOFRESEARCH
2.1 Brandingoftheneglectedbeauty:NortheastIndia
From ancient times, Indias Northeast region has been the meeting place of many communities,
faiths and cultures. It is a place of magical beauty and bewildering diversity. There are more than
166 ethnic tribes speaking many languages. Some groups have migrated over the centuries from
places as far as Southeast Asia. They retain their cultural traditions but are beginning to adapt to
contemporary lifestyles. Its jungles are dense. Today, the region is considered as one of the
unique and fragile Biodiversity Hotspots in the world. The regions flora and fauna is unique.
The terrain is mountainous and rugged. The rivers are mighty. Northeast is unique in lushness of
its landscape, the range of communities and geographical and ecological diversity. The region
creates enchanting and romantic atmosphere in all the seasons. The Northeast region includes
eight states of Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, Mizoram, Manipur and
Nagaland.

It is unfortunate that due to socio-political and geographical reasons, the entire Northeast has
remained neglected and backward from the development point of view. Regions first problem is
isolation. Physical isolation has aggravated the already existing mental quarantine. The British,
as a deliberate policy followed the dictum leave them- alone in splendid segregation. The new
rulers in post-independent India refined it further by applying the yardstick out-of-sight-out-of-
mind approach. The result: armed uprising in many parts of the North-east. Contrary to general
perception outside the North-east, most of the insurrections in the region are direct fallout of this
neglect of the area by the ruling class both in Delhi and in the region. Due to these reasons
Indias North East comprises of seven states, fondly referred to as the Seven Sisters, more aptly
could be called as seven neglected girl children of India. In spite of very high literacy rate in the
region (around 80%), progress and benefits have not reached the Northeast even today.

The concept of Tourism development is very recent in this region and is in its infancy.They have
taken a few strides in developing tourism, with emphasis on eco-tourism, wildlife tourism,
cultural tourism and adventure tourism. The region has tremendous and diverse potential for
DestinationBrandingSevenSisters ICBM

tourism development, which could attract international and national tourists. However, the
tourism development of the Northeast region needs to be targeted via a regional approach rather
than an individual state approach. Selling the N-E states as the best destination for tourism will
require futuristic vision, conscious and planned efforts at all levels and a disciplined action plan
and implementation strategy. In the meanwhile, sympathetic approach of the central government
will be required to stabilise the socio-political situation in the northeast followed by overall
infrastructure development in the region.

We are trying to bring out through this paper branding strategies to facilitate the packaging of N-
E states as the numero-uno tourism destination.

2.2 ApplyingthelearningsfrombrandingofKerala,Australia,
Malaysiaetc..
Until the early 1980s, Kerala was a hitherto unknown destination, with most tourism circuits
concentrated around the north of the country. Aggressive marketing campaigns launched by the
Kerala Tourism Development Corporationthe government agency that oversees tourism
prospects of the statelaid the foundation for the growth of the tourism industry. In the decades
that followed, Kerala Tourism was able to transform itself into one of the niche holiday
destinations in India. The tag line Kerala- God's Own Country was adopted in its tourism
promotions and became synonymous with the state. Today, Kerala Tourism is a global
superbrand and regarded as one of the destinations with the highest brand recall. In 2006, Kerala
attracted 8.5 million touristsan increase of 23.68% in foreign tourist arrivals compared to the
previous year, thus making it one of the fastest growing tourism destinations in the world. Thus
our purpose is to take a leaf out of this success story of Kerala and like wise other success stories
like Malaysia, Australia etc to brand the N-E states and make it the best sought after tourism
destination.
DestinationBrandingSevenSisters ICBM

3. DESTINATIONBRANDING

Countries and cities are competing world-wide not only for tourists but also for export markets,
business investment and skilled migrants. To meet tourism, business and population objectives,
destination managers are now applying branding principals, derived from product marketing, to
establish their destinations as brands.
While branding has been applied to consumer products for decades, the concept of strategically
branding countries, cities and regions really only appeared during the mid-90s to assist
destinations to compete more effectively in an increasingly competitive marketing environment..
Branding provides a way of creating a unique identity through relationship building and
emotional appeal along differentiation on the basis of functional qualities.
In this era of super-brands it may seem an unusual notion to consider a city, state, region or
country as a brand. We buy brands because we enjoy them and they make our choices easier. In
the context of a place being the focal point for the promotion and catalyst for economic
development, it makes sense that it should be managed as a brand to enhance its identity and
perceived value in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

J ust as the marketers of consumer goods such as Coca-Cola and Nike use branding to create a
distinctive image, places large and small are also doing the same to address three critical
questions:
What do we want to be known for?
How can we stand out from the crowd?
What thoughts and feelings do we want to come to mind when people are exposed to
our name?

Correctly answering these questions so that they have greatest relevance to customers is central
to formulating a successful destination brand. Market leaders focus on managing their identity by
ensuring consistent messages and by delivering on their brand promise.
DestinationBrandingSevenSisters ICBM

While place branding draws on principals from product marketing there are some important
differences.
Destination managers do not own the brand but rather represent a range of competing
stakeholder groups.Under these circumstances the establishment and maintenance of a
differentiated and tightly focused brand strategy may be challenged by stakeholders who feel
they are not adequately represented by the brand. Destinations should be regarded as corporate
rather than product brands. From this perspective brand management is about managing
destination image and perceptions rather than manipulating the product offering which is largely
outside the control of the destination manager.
When consumers decide on a destination for a holiday or a business conference, several "brands"
compete for their attention. A strong brand is differentiated from others, has several strong
advantages when compared to others, and has an attractive appeal to consumers. In tourism,
while factors such as cost of travel, convenience, and quality of facilities are important, the
strongest motivator is "image". Brand image puts a destination on the consumer's "shopping list"
and creates an emotional appeal, which enhances that destination's chances of being chosen over
others. Singapore was seen as "clean, modern and safe". China's dominant image and attraction
was "culture". Malaysia was seen as "multicultural with many beaches". Thailand had a brand
image of "exotic, fun, and friendly people".
Place branding involves much more than the establishment of a clever tag line and logo. The
brand tools must be based on a clear articulation of the brand essence reflecting both the
attributes of the destination and its people and the benefits sought by consumers. Without the
umbrella of an overarching strategy for the destination brand experience, tactics such as the
aforementioned may garner short-term gains in building awareness, but may lack the staying
power vital to the long-term good health and well-being of a brand. Our definition of a genuine
brand is The internalized sum of all impressions received by customers and consumers resulting
in a distinctive position in their minds eye based on perceived emotional and functional
benefits.
DestinationBrandingSevenSisters ICBM

4. WHOAREYOURCUSTOMERS?

It is very important to think in terms of market segmentation when assessing the destination
brand. Some of the various segments to review and prioritize are visitors; potential visitors;
meeting planners; executive influencers; local stakeholders, including hospitality, tourism and
retail providers, government influencers and officials; local arts organizations (i.e., cultural
tourism); and the general public. Historically these segments have shown they are different in
terms of how they respond to the brand, and therefore it is important not to assume that one
strategy will apply across the board to all with equal weighting.
DestinationBrandingSevenSisters ICBM

5. DESTINATIONPOSITIONING

Unique position in relation to competitors, based on
Differentiation of offering
Using Unique Selling Proposition(s) (USP)
Cost of offering
Price competitiveness w.r.t tourist packages offered for other competing
tourist destinations.
Specialized focus of offering
To make North East India the numero-uno destination for tourism when it
comes to tourists demanding exploration, experiential, romanticism,
relaxation)
Positioning should
Be consistent with market requirements
Cost and value for money (high cost-low volume, low cost-high volume)
o Initially when tourism in the Seven Sisters is just being developed
the volume of tourists will be low and the cost of tourist packages
will be on the higher side.
Market trends and preferences (exploration, experiential, romanticism,
relaxation)
Convenience of purchase (ease of access, packaging, time limits, etc.)
o Connection through railways and airways.
o Modern Tourist Information Centers:
o Computerization of Tourism Services:
o Booking Agents
DestinationBrandingSevenSisters ICBM

o Tourism packages like Eco-Tourism, Educational tourism, Culture


tourism, Medical tourism, Water tourism, Rural tourism, Heritage
tourism, Festival tourism etc or a mix and match can be made
available. Packages from Tour operator and hoteliers .
Demographic trends (family/individual, age groups, etc.)
Be consistent with resources
Features and Resources
Capability to deliver requirements
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6. DIFFERENTIATINGTHEDESTINATION
6.1 UsingPointofDifferentiation(s)(POD)
Unique/exceptional when compared to competitors
Unique/exceptional appeal in relation to market needs
Could be a single factor or a combination of factors, e.g. broad based (time, cost
and general experiences)
Core, broad based proposition across market segments +focused propositions for
particular market segments
6.2 PODsofNEIndia
WonderfulNaturalBeautyofMountainsandRivers
Uniqueandendemicfloraandfauna
largepercentageoflandunderforestcover
Lowpopulationdensity
CleanandunpollutedEnvironment
ClosenesstofiveinternationalboundariesNepal,Bhutan,China,Myanmar,
Bangladesh
PeacefulculturalrelationshipwithinternationalcommunitiesofMyanmarand
Bangladesh
Diversityofverycharmingethniccultures
Diversityoffolkartformsparticularlymusicanddances
Peacefulinterminglingofdiversecommunities,faithsandcultures
Hospitalityandwarmthofpeople
Mysticismoftheregioncreatingaweandcuriosity
GreatpotentialforEcotourismandAdventuretourism
Waterbodiesintheformoflakes,rivers(Brahmaputra),Lakesetc.
Hillstations
Caves
Culture:Danceforms,Musicandfolkartforms,colorfultribes
WildlifeSanctuarieswithrarespeciesofanimals,Birdsanctuaries,Museums
Archaeologicalsites(AncientsculpturesandCravings)
Historicalsites(forts,palaces,temples,churches,mosquesetc.)
Pilgrimageplaces
Festivals
ShoppingExperience
Adventuresports,TraditionalsportsespinManipur,
WorldWarIICemeteryinNagaland
AssamTea
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TribalvillageslikeKohimaVillageandShangnyuVillagewhichhasmonuments,
tribalarchitectureandhandicraftsetc.
ManipurstateisalsocalledSwitzerlandoftheEast.
Assamisoftencalled"ThelandofRedRiverThemightyriverofBrahmaputra
originatingfromtheMansarovarLakeinTibet
Meghalayaliterallymeaning:Abodeofclouds.TheBritishfellinlovewiththe
placeanddubbeditasthe"ScotlandoftheEast'.

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7. PROPOSINGABRANDINGMODELFORBRAND
IMPLEMENTATION

How the brand owner wants the consumer to perceive the destination is what brand identity is all
about. The brand owner will seek to bridge the gap between the brand image and the brand
identity. Brand identity is fundamental to consumer recognition and symbolizes the brand's
differentiation from competitors.
The brand identity is based on twelve elements:
1. Brand culture:
It is about the system of characteristics based on the cultural aspects of the
people(spirit, traditions, event, gastronomy, an so on) and the country (historical sites,
monuments, archaeological sites, churches, an so on). Often, this is the essence of a
destination and it represents its core value proposition.
BrandCultureofNEstates:Inaregionrarelyvisitedbyforeigners,numerousethnic
groupscontinueawayoflifeunchangedforcenturies.Forexample,inArunachal
Pradesh,manypeoplepracticepolygamy.InManipur,nativepeopleperform
elaborate,ritualdancestohonorvillagedeitiesandinNagaland,villagersworshipthe
sunandthemoon,towhichtheyattributehumanlife.SurroundedbyIndia,China,
Tibet,BurmaandBangladesh,NortheastIndiaisextraordinarilydiverse,describedby
theauthorsasan"ethnologicaltransitionzone."TheSevenSistersprovincesofIndia
areinhabitedbyover500distinctethnicgroups,someofwhichhavepreservedancient
customs,shamanritualsandheadhuntingtraditions.

2. Brand character:
It is related to its internal constitution, how it is perceived in terms of integrity,
trustworthiness and honesty (Upshaw, 1995). This is also related with the promise of the
brand to deliver the experience associated with its distinctive value proposition
BrandCharacterofNEstates:Welcoming,Peaceful,Fresh,Conservative,Mystic

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3. Brand personality :
It is the set of human characteristics that are associated with the destination. It
includes several characteristics as sincerity, excitement or competence (Aaker J ., 1997) or
gender, age, socioeconomic class, as well as human personality traits such as warmth and
sentimentality(Aaker, 1996)
BrandPersonalityofNEStates:Romantic,Diverse,Conservative,Peaceloving,
Unexplored,Ethnical

4. Brand name :
It often is the original name of the destination, in domestic or English language:
this choice is more important, because it is strongly related with communication strategy
on tourist targets. Brand name should have many strength and unique associations, it
should be distinctive, pronouncability and recallability (Keller, 2003b).
BrandNameofNEstates:SereneSevenSisters:UnexploredParadise

5. Brand logos (and symbols):


It is a fundamental element to define a destination. A beautiful view, a famous
monument or an unique tradition are examples of symbols that in destination case
could be the main logos to communicate a clear and distinctive value proposition
compared to another competitive places


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6. Brand slogan:
It represents a promise that DMO or another business player defining to the
tourist targets. Its based on the main functional, emotive or experiential attributes of the
destination related to the benefits and value provided by the place offering. Naturally -
also about this element- is more important to choice strength and unique associations for
communicating clearly these to the tourists.
BrandSloganofNEstates:
WelcometotheMysterylandofthe"BlueMountainsandtheRedRiver"
SevenSistersofIndia,aparadiseunexplored!!
NorthEastIndiaTrulyLandofGods!!

7. Brand Image:
The psychological aspect, sometimes referred to as the brand image, is a symbolic
construct created within the minds of people and consists of all the information and
expectations associated with a destination.
To be effective, an image must be valid, believable, simple & used consistently,
appealing, distinctive.
Tools to communicate an image: Slogans, Themes, Logos, Events & deeds
Assessing brand image
Two-part process:
* Select target segments
* Measure the image held by those segments
Three approaches to measuring image:
* Familiarity-favorability scales
Familiarity awareness
Scale of responses:
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Never heard of it >Heard of it >Know a little about it >
Know a fair amount about it >Know it very well
Favourability positive/negative perception
Scale of responses:
Very unfavourable >Somewhat unfavourable >Indifferent >Somewhat
favourable >Very favourable
Helps define what image issues a destination needs to address and to which target
segments
* Semantic differential
Tests respondents perceptions on a set of relevant dimensions for a particular
theme eg factors in choosing a holiday destination
o Weather
o Cost
o Natural features
o Cultural interest
o shopping
o Friendliness of host people
Each factor measured on a five-point bipolar scale from positive to negative
extremes i.e. very poor to very good
* Evaluative maps
Inventory of target segments with visual/experience impressions of a place
Words that represent opposites placed at either end of the scale
Respondents asked to indicate where between the two extremes the place fits
Cold Friendly
Natural Artificial
Simple Sophisticated

Peace Violence
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8. Brand Architecture:
Blueprinttoguidebrandbuilding,developmentandmarketing
Shouldreflectpositioning,rational(head)andemotional(heart)benefits
Take cognizance of destination composition (national, regional, city and town) and
facilitatesynergy
Identify suprabrands and subbrand, based on geographical and product
differentiations(e.g.Cape:SouthAfrica,CapeGardenRoute,CapeWine,etc.)
Brand architecture reflected in destination trademarks (logos, insignia), marketing
collateral,advertisingconcepts,etc.
Area Positioning RationalBenefit Emotionalbenefits
Seven
Sisters
Mysterylandof
the"Blue
Mountainsand
theRedRiver

Aparadise
unexplored

LandofGods!!
Heritage,landscape,
scenery,artsand
culture,people,
Archaeologicalsites
Historicalsites
Pilgrimageplaces
Festivals

Ifeelstimulatedbythe
untouchednaturalbeauty
andtheexperienceof
unadulteredcultureinthe
SevenSisters.Atease
amongthewelcoming
friendlypeople.

9. Brand Promise:
Your brand is your promise and is at the heart of everything that you should be
doing as a destination marketing organization or economic development agency to
positively influence the perceptions and experiences of customers. Promise includes
destination brands value propositionits commitment to its visitorsdefined as the
essence of the benefits (functional and emotional) that current and potential visitors can
expect to receive throughout the destination experience. If you do not live up to the
promise your destination brand images is bound to weather down in the long run.
10. Brand Evaluation:
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Brands Image keep changing in response to events, media coverage etc. and
your marketing strategies and Branding strategies should be an ongoing process which
adapts adequately.
Ongoing process of:
Destination research of places image
Segmenting & targeting its image & audiences
Positioning the places benefits to support existing or changed image
Communicating those benefits to the target audiences
The destination research evaluation is designed to measure the effectiveness of
advertising, public relations and the existing tactics for promoting the destination from a
brand perspective. Destination research can help you target specific areas for marketing
and optimize your messaging to ensure that you are hitting these targets. It can also help
determine your return on investment to address stakeholder and influencer questions and
concerns.
Typical brand research is centered on determining top-of-mind brand awareness. For
example, a destination survey may ask, When you are thinking about taking a vacation
or short pleasure trip in the United States, what cities or states come to mind?
Subsequent questions may ask how many times the visitor or non-visitor has visited or
plans to visit the places mentioned. Interviewing travel agent counter staff is a cost-
effective way of estimating brand awareness for tourist destinations as they are
"gatekeepers", and likely to emphasise their own "top of mind" awareness to customers.
Intelligence gained from research findings can be published as a report to be distributed
to local authorities, travel agents, transport service providers, the media and other key
stakeholders linked to the destination business and brand.

11. Brand Internalization:
One of the biggest myths of all is that branding is the responsibility of the
marketing department or tourism office. Because a brand is built cumulatively by all
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contact with the destination, the brand can fall down at any point, at any time. Delivering
a memorable and respected brand is everybodys business. It demands that the walls
between organizations, individuals and departments be knocked down. Until everybody
understands and activates their role in projecting and delivering the brand promise, it will
struggle to come alive.
Brand Internalization is the process by which all members and associates (current and
future) are exposed, indoctrinated and trained in the sum total of beliefs, behaviors and
ways characteristic of a destination brand as outlined in the brand doctrine, thus raising
the level of awareness with a view toward improving the ability, both individually and
organizationally, to live the promise.
Critical points for brand internalization:
For the brand to be authentic and deliver on its promise the local community and
stakeholders should believe in it and live it
Best brand champions are our citizens could also be worst enemies if they dont
subscribe to brand essence
Strategy required to communicate and advocate the brand internally
Practical ways of instilling the brand values within the community
Capacitate and enable leadership figures to live the brand and infuse the
population

12. Brand Experience:
Once a consumer decides to visit the destination his/her experience at each
promise points should deliver positively on the promise made.
Remove or easing the entry formalities for instance will improve the experience of
foreign tourists in North east India. Availability of lodging and commuting facilities,
loving and welcoming nature of the localites, hospitality at every contact point etc will
enhance the brand experience. Tourism industry has become a specialised sector today. It
is a fast growing, labour incentive and competitive industry. The concepts of tourism
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sectors are also changing fast and one requires to be updated constantly. Professional
Training of staff through participation in different seminars / workshops / short-term
courses etc must be under taken. Such training programmes could be organised in-house
also to minimise the costs. The staff should be encouraged to improve their qualifications
in this sector and incentives like increments / promotions etc. could be offered. All new
staff must have tourism related professional qualifications. This will be very useful
investment on part of the government.
Health Care is a major factor in brand experience. Hence general hea lth care strategy
specifically from the tourism point of view is very important. N-E states may have
possible health problems for tourists like Malaria and Gastro- enteritis. The concerted
efforts are required for prevention of these problems at all tourist destinations. These
could be tackled with following simple strategies like
All tourist lodges should have mosquito control systems
All kitchens and toilets must have high standard of hygiene and cleanliness.
In general, awareness of high standard of cleanliness, hygiene and health care
amongst the staff must be ensured with regular monitoringand intermittent
campaigns.
All tourist lodges must be equipped with first-aid facilities
Special Tourist facilities at the State entry / exit points: Entry and Exit points have a lot
of importance to create identity for the State. The tourists get their first and lasting
impressions at these points. These points are important for Tripura, in the present
circumstances where the tourists spend a lot of time at such points waiting for security
escorts etc. and it will be advisable to make their time at such places comfortable and
pleasant. This could be achieved by creating Special Tourist Centers at these entry / exit
points in co-ordination with the security authorities. These centres could provide basic
tourist facilities, provide information and also play a major role in establishing the first
warm contact and impression with the tourists. The design of such centres should reflect
the identity of the state.
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8. BRANDCONSUMPTIONFACTORS
Motivating factors like stressful life, business conference, urge to have fun , urge to experience
different culture, to travel etc lead to need recognition of moving to a destination.
Factors that lead to the destination falling into the consideration set:
How a place emotionally links to a consumers mind, personality and culture.
Its brand image
Tourist packages available for the destination: Which need of the consumer is being
targeted?
Factors leading to consumption:
Price: Due to budget limitation of some consumers and price competitiveness of other tourist
destinations catering to the same need of the customers, price would be an important
constraint that converts consideration into consumption.
Product: Point of differences of the destination and its USPs in relation to its competitors will
decide if the customer ends up visiting the destination.


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9. TOOLSFORCONVEYINGTHEBRANDIDENTITY
Cities and regions are able to intimately touch their customers because they envelop them and
impact all of their senses. These powerful experiences are among the most influential in shaping
perceptions, feelings and thoughts about the place. It is incumbent upon all destinations wanting
to build a strong brand to ensure that they delight their customers at every Promise Point where
they meet. When they can do this, they might then think about advertising. But it shouldnt be
their first and dominant marketing step.
Other factors such as past experiences, word of mouth, recommendations, and public relations
have a far greater influence on destinations than advertising.
Formal advertising and promotion of a country as a tourist destination in other nations can also
have an effect. If that image is unfocused or not clear, the destination will have difficulty
competing with images created by competing countries. Advertising, PR and promotion must
complement informal information obtained through word of mouth and personal
recommendations, by either building upon the latter or correcting negative perceptions that may
be incorrect.
Gap Analysis:
Incredible India is still promoting this place as North Eastern states and special
attention is not yet given although their beauty is well known
It is considered as one of the best international location for photography by Ibarionex R.
Perello, however it is not seen as Global tourist destination
There exits different organizations such as NEZCC (North East Zone Cultural Centre),
IGNCA (Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts), Indian Tourism, different tours and
travel agencies promoting the land of Blue Mountains, Green Valleys and Red River but
there is a lack of structured organized branding and marketing of the Seven Sisters as
unexplored paradise.



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Following are the ways for conveying the brand identity:


Education
o Tourist Guide books
o Yellow pages on N-E states
o Geography text books covering N-E states
Personal contacts
Viral Marketing
Media
* Newspaper travel supplements
* Magazines dedicated to one aspect or another of travel & tourism
* Television travel shows (In Discovery and National Geographic channels etc.)
(Lonely Planet" in the past has given adverse publicity on the region and
therefore the LONELY PLANET EDITOR should be convinced to reprint and
disseminates information that only few pockets in the region are under
problematic conditions. States like Sikkim, Mizoram, Meghalaya and most
Arunachal Pradesh is completely peaceful.)
*Advertisements through Radio.
(Talented local journalists could be given some incentive to provide publicity about
N-E states)
Personality Branding
Advertising
o Print Ad (Please refer section 16 for some print Ads we have created.)
o Video Ad
o Roadside signage and hoardings.
(We do not recommend expensive advertisements in the initial period
of five years. Slow but steady and quality publicity will create permanent
market for N-E States. Simple marketing methods could be used to augment
the existing facilities. The existing Wayside amenities and Restaurant are
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underutilized even though they are at strategic and excellent locations. The N-
E Tourism Department can tie up with the Department of Transport and
private bus operators, so that these locations become regular lunch / tea halts.
Appropriate incentives may be provided for this joint effort. )
Information literature like brochures, posters and books is another excellent
avenue for publicity. However, the theme based and innovative products will
only stand out. Care must be taken to follow environmental norms, like use
of recycled paper, ethnic designs etc. to emphasize the basic theme of Eco-
tourism and Heritage Tourism.
Active participation in various national and international travel / tourism / trade
fairs is another effective method of self-projection at minimum cost.
Own experience
Road shows
Well- designed products and souvenirs make a subtle positive impact on tourism
publicity. These are functional elements, which could become show windows of
Tripura Tourism. Some examples are backpacks, caps, T-shirts, stickers etc .The
innovations in design will provide economical success to these products with
minimum investment and will also achieve subtle but long lasting publicity.
Internet
o Internet has clearly impacted nearly every aspect of our daily lives, and
not least of all, how travel both business and leisure is marketed today.
o Through Blogs
o Tourism websites(Like Kerala has their own dedicated website)
o Through advertisements on other Web site like Yahoo/Orkut


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10. FUNDINGAVENUESFORTHEBRANDINGPROJECT
Governmental Funding Avenues: The Tourism Department must try various funding avenues in
the process towards making activities economically feasible and sustainable. The state / central
governments may provide limited assistance for the initial gestation period. However, a definite
strategy has to be worked out for the long-term maintenance of such facilities. Other funding
avenues should be tapped. Various government departments and organizations provide
specialized funding for specific projects related to their activities and tourism sector being a
versatile sector could tap these resources. For e.g.: The Ministry of Environment and Forests
finances projects related to Biodiversity, Wildlife, Plant Conservation etc., the Central Zoo
Authority provides funds for zoo related projects, the department of Alternate Energy, Education
etc. also provide similar financial assistance.
Institutional Funding Avenues: There are many national and international organizations /
universities which are interested in long term ecological research and appropriate development in
the regions like Northeast. The national and the international agencies have a businesslike
approach.
They ensure soundness of the proposals, integrity of the of the project leader and the team,
technical and financial viability of the project. They also monitor the progress of the project
during the implementation. The success rate is generally good in these types of arrangements due
to mutual interest and control. However, the approach to generate such funding has to be of high
quality and professional. The State Government needs to invest reasonable amount of seed
capital for the preparation of sound and comprehensive project proposal . This needs to be
handled professionally and the consultants must be able to convince the funding agency about
the viability of the project.
The Institutional Funding Agencies may be classified under the following categories:
National Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs)
Infosys Foundation
Pirojsha Godrej foundation
Reliance Foundation
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J .R.D. Tata Trust


International NGOs
The Asia Foundation The Carnegie Foundation
The Rockfeller Foundation
World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)
International Government Agencies
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
United Kingdom Department of International Development
United States Department of Fish & Wildlife
US Global Change Research Programme, USA
Inter Governmental Organizations (IGOs)
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
The United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)
The United Nations Education,
Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

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11. PUBLICPRIVATEPARTNERSHIP(PPP)
The tourism department should create business proposals and outsource the implementation of
branding projects to Private firms. The tourism website design can be outsourced like the Kerala
tourism website has been designed by Invest multimedia. The privatization policy should
provide various concessions and incentives to entrepreneurs in tourism-related activities.
Partnership with hotel chains, private tourist vehicle agencies, Tours and Travels Agencies are
some of the PPPs that can be looked forward to.Apart from the branding strategies there can be
synergies w.r.t the infrastructure development so as to create good brand experience and to
deliver positively on the brand promise.
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12. BENEFITSOFBRANDBUILDING
Creating a brand that is going to stand out from competitors, resonate with customer needs, and
gain the support of local stakeholders requires patience, vision, collaboration, and strategic
thinking. A branded approach should introduce focus, message consistency, and provide the
leadership to unite community partners and become the focal point to add value for customers
through the citys combined marketing efforts.
A place that does not proactively engage in branding runs the risk of being positioned anyway by
competitors, and the media, and most likely to its disadvantage. A well-crafted brand strategy
should provide long-term direction to present it as a place with compelling advantages over other
similar places.
The benefits of a destination brand strategy include:
12.1 TheBenefitsforYourCustomer
1. Provides peace of mind by increasing trust and reduces uncertainty and risk because
they feel it wont let them down
2. Saves time and effort
3. Simplifies choices
4. Being associated with the place reflects well on them
5. Taps into their needs and desires
6. Provides perceived added value and benefits
12.2 TheBenefitsforYourCommunitysMarketers
1. Provides a greater strategic focus
2. Fosters a unified and cooperative approach to city marketing.
3. Establishes a clear, valued, and sustainable point of distinction in the minds of
customers.
4. Provides a decision-making framework to build a strong, consistent brand identity
and avoid contradictory and changing designs, messages, and images.
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5. Results in a higher return on investment (ROI) from marketing investments.


6. Provides an umbrella to capture the character and personality of the city to enable all
marketers to use similar consistent and compelling messages.
7. Provides a distinctive look and feel for marketing applications.
12.3 TheBenefitsforYourCommunityasaWhole
1. Creates a unifying focus to aid all public, private, and non-profit sector organizations
that rely on the image of the place and its attractiveness.
2. Brings increased respect, recognition, loyalty, and celebrity.
3. Corrects out of date, inaccurate or unbalanced perceptions.
4. Improves stakeholder income, profit margins, and increase lodging tax revenues.
5. Increases the ability to attract, recruit, and retain talented people.
6. Enhances civic pride and advocacy.
7. Expands the size of the pie for stakeholders to get a larger share, rather than having
to rely on pricing to steal share.
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13. EVALUATINGMARKETINGEFFECTIVENESS
It is a big challenge for tourism marketers seeking to justify budgets. The only way to justify the
effort and investment is through evaluation of marketing effectiveness that can be done through
following tools:
Coupon response rates
Website hit rates
Tracking surveys
Pre-testing through focus groups
Visitor surveys
Tourist accommodation surveys
Research among regional, national & international markets

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14. REFERENCES
http://ignca.nic.in/craft002.htm
http://www.north-east-india.com/
http://www.northeastindiadiary.com/
http://www.mapsofindia.com/
http://incredibleindia.org/
http://www.tourism.gov.in/
http://www.asiamarketresearch.com/columns/tourism-branding.htm
http://www.crctourism.com.au/
http://www.esade.edu/cedit2006/pdfs2006/papers/
http://www.sciencedirect.com/
http://en.wikipedia.org/
http://northeasterner.in/
http://www.photojournal.co.uk/timothy_allen_latest_choose.html
http://www.victoo.com/
http://www.nezccindia.org/
http://www.rjadventures.org/
http://assamgovt.nic.in/
http://www.outdoorphotographer.com/
http://in.youtube.com/
http://www.indianfolklore.org/journals/
Marketing management by Philip Kotler and company
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15. PRINTADVERTISEMENTS


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