Opinion: Big travel brands are thinking different. So should you

Opinion: Big travel brands are thinking different. So should you

The recent partnership between Cosmos and The Co-operative Travel Group is a great example of how big name brands are starting to think differently for the benefit of both parties.

Cosmos has good quality product at competitive prices, while The Co-operative Travel has the distribution and a strong reputation among consumers.

Getting together to sell what are essentially overbranded packages looks like a win-win for both, while the all-important consumers get a product they can rely on.Likewise, Costa Cruises’ distribution deal with Ryanair could benefit both companies.

Ryanair is under pressure to fill its aircraft, while Costa now has the benefit of appearing on one of the industry’s busiest websites. The latter has been open to initial scepticism from within the trade.  Will this see other cruiselines teaming up with low-cost airlines in the future?

The challenge comes where customer satisfaction (or expectation) is concerned. How the two manage their relationship when things go wrong will determine the tie-up’s ultimate strength. Individual retailers needn’t think they can’t get in on the act.

Could you team up with your nearest supermarket and offer a welcome home pack of groceries for returning holidaymakers? Or maybe promote your goods and services within its in-store publications which are picked up by local customers?

Many online retailers have already tapped into lucrative affinity deals with third parties – innovation and customer offering is key in providing the customer with a range of services they didn’t initially think they needed.

French president Nicolas Sarkozy and his model wife Carla Bruni are a couple who have put the amour back into France. They are an unlikely match who came together and exploded into the next David and Victoria Beckham, French style.

Travel businesses can learn a lot from Nicolas and Carla. On their own they do a good job, but it’s together that they really stand out. It’s an unconventional partnership.

During these difficult times, success is not necessarily about winning or doing things by the book – but just as much about reaching the finish line.

The right partnerships, in the true sense of the word, can make us much stronger as well as allow us to share in any infrastructure and set-up costs.


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