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Branding
Let’s Not Forget the Most Powerful Resort Marketing Channel of All…You

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GREGG
BLANCHARD
   

I really, really enjoyed Destination Summit. Yeah, I was busy and missed some sessions I was hoping to catch, but I loved the chance to rub shoulders with many of you.

That was my favorite part. Hearing Fran’s enthusiasm for some really clever copy in Red Mountain’s latest creative or sitting down with Tom and hearing an update on SnoCountry’s accomplishments. Or what Katie has learned since joining Bachelor’s team or Eric’s thoughts on avoiding vanilla marketing in Park City.

It was awesome. And I miss it.

The Other Dot
You know how when you let an experience set in, it will remind you of another? And that, in turn, will connect to something else? That’s what happened as I drove home on Thursday evening.

It was then that I remembered a conversation with Copper Mountain’s Dwight Eppinger on the lift as he gave me a tour of Sherpa. The conversation was about the power behind a personal reply to a guests email. They stick your addy in the to: field and vent, never expecting a response.

But you do respond. And that opposite to their expectation catches them off guard. It lowers the marketing filters and they connect with you (and the company) in a way they never could before.

Yet Another Dot
I’ve shared this experience before, but when I got such an email years ago from someone deeply frustrated by the price of something I was selling, I replied. Then, surprised I was willing to talk, they replied. And so on until, twelve emails later, I got another email from him. His order confirmation.

Suddenly another Destination Summit conversation popped in from a man I met who, recognizing it as a tough lesson learned, admitted it was likely a lack of face-time with a client that caused them to choose another vendor.

He vowed to travel more going forward. To shake more hands and not be virtual vendors.

So as I drove along I-70, connecting these dots I realized this was what I had talked about in my own session: People do not buy from brands, nor companies, people buy from people.

Scalable?
And I found myself at a question, an idea, I had and shared a long time ago. Within the context of this post I’ll frame it as such:

Maybe your resort needs a Destination Summit.

Maybe you need a time and place where all your guests, all your employees, and your local community can get together and meet and talk. Maybe you need a conference, a movie premier, or party that is designed for the sole purpose of giving your team a chance to meet your customers face to face. A time for your own Ralf, Trevor, and Corey to get up and get people excited about all the stuff you’ve been doing and then mingle with that same audience with a beer in hand.

Maybe when they consider renewing their pass it will be a bit more personal. Maybe.


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