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A resort brochure lesson from a time I honestly needed resort brochures.

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I’ve covered brochures a few times in the past, but I wanted to share a really simple insight from a recent trip to Oregon where brochures were exactly what I need in real life.

The trip began when we arrived on Monday and planned to spend a day in Portland before heading to the coast.

Unsure how close we were to anything that resembled cut trails and triple chairs and not having looked en-route due to my full attention being directed toward keeping a 3 year-old’s underwear dry, I did what I often do as soon as I checked into the hotel: made a bee line for the brochure rack.

After perusing, I found two from ski resorts.

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One was a state, a province, and a country away. The other was just close enough that it bordered on possible.

But, as I’ve mentioned before, I always try to pay attention to my behavior in these scenarios. And, so doing, I noticed something interesting about these two brochures I found.

The Questions
What I realized as I scanned the racks was I really only had two questions:

  1. Where is it (/how far away)?
  2. What can I do there?

That was it.

As I alluded to earlier I eventually found answers to those questions, but I’ll get to that in a minute.

The Constraint
The other thing I noticed about my behavior was that faced with so many potential options, I was looking for simple answers to those questions rather than an in-depth look at a destination.

I wasn’t going to take 15 minutes to carefully read each one, I was going to take 2 minutes, find a few brochures, and quickly compare my options. These brochures were, in a way, or sort of offline Google result where you scan titles, pick a few up (click), but move on if nothing matches my needs.

So, two questions and just a few seconds. I’ll let you guess which one did better.

Timberline’s was a simple, double gate fold setup on a heavier cardstock.
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It was clean, to-the-point, and well-designed.

Whistler’s was much more of a booklet than a brochure. While the same size to fit in the rack, it had ~20 pages of detailed information about nearly everything at the resort.
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If I wanted to book a room right then and there, I’d have just about everything I’d need to do so.

The winner, however, was a combination of neither and both.

Timberline’s had the simple, browseable form factor but was a bit more about their story and brand than the actual things I could do there. Whistler’s had the content but needed a table of contents to find what you were looking for. Somewhere between the two – concise but focused on the product – would have been perfect.

Like I said, a simple lesson but a valuable one. Some marketers love long and detailed, some love short and story-driven, but for me in this moment, I needed a happy medium.

About Gregg & SlopeFillers
I've had more first-time visitors lately, so adding a quick "about" section. I started SlopeFillers in 2010 with the simple goal of sharing great resort marketing strategies. Today I run marketing for resort ecommerce and CRM provider Inntopia, my home mountain is the lovely Nordic Valley, and my favorite marketing campaign remains the Ski Utah TV show that sold me on skiing as a kid in the 90s.

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