Thomson successor should have shown range of amazing products, says Miles Morgan, managing director of Miles Morgan Travel
It was interesting to see my old company rebrand this month. That customer favourite, Thomson, has been replaced with the slightly more Germanic Tui, but will anyone care?
The ‘smile’ in the name has been part of the logo for some time and will already have good consumer recognition. From my experience of the rebrand from Lunn Poly to Thomson over 10 years ago, most clients did not even notice the name over the door had changed, and certainly did not care as long as ‘Sue’ was still there to book their holiday.
Fast forward and look at the current distribution of Tui. Clearly the loss of Thomson.co.uk and the move to Tui. com will be the concern in this always-on digital world. I will leave the more technically able to review the implications of that one.
The rebrand has brought with it huge marketing spend to get the message out that it really is business as usual despite the name change. Marketing is a challenging area. Everyone thinks they can do it and everyone has an opinion, and I am no different.
Tui’s TV advert has disappointed me personally. I always think with TV you have to hit one of a number of different things to succeed.
The adverts need to be memorable. Meerkats spring to mind and even the annoying Go Compare guy. Funny ads work too; my current favourite is Peter Kay and Warburtons. The ‘do what they say on the tin’ adverts by the likes of Dyson, or the aspirational Virgin Holidays commercial, showcasing its sexy, long‑haul product and the exciting places you can visit, also really resonate.
For me, the Tui advert does none of these. It is simply wallpaper.
What are customers concerned about, if anything, with this rebrand? The main things would be questions like these. Does Tui still do Sensatori? Does it still offer those stunning Dreamliners? And finally, is Sue still there in my local shop? The TV advert addresses none of these.
Often, clever marketers get obsessed with their clever idea (“dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s” etc) and forget to connect with the customer about the main message behind of the advert.
Of course, I am just ‘another bloke’ with an opinion like anyone else. But with such amazing products in Tui’s stable, I thought they could have achieved more by showcasing the range in the style that Virgin does so well.
At Miles Morgan Travel, we are deep in planning for our big campaign in January and are shooting a TV advert without the huge budgets available to Tui. So what is our approach? First, who do we want to appeal to and what is our main USP? That is so simple for us because we have great staff offering great advice to customers, and we are privately owned by a local guy that cares about your holiday. The challenge is getting that into a 30-second commercial, but we will do our best.
Others will have their own views about the Tui rebrand, but that is marketing – we’re all experts! Good luck with yours in January. My only advice would be to get out there and do something; if not, others will steal your clients.
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