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Maybe the Secret to Good Resort Marketing is Pissing (a Few) People Off

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The best word for most resort marketing may simply be “vanilla”. The best two words may be “luke warm”.

Incarnate those communications and you’ll end up with a yes man.

No matter how many clever sentences I try to come up with to illustrate this point, it’s no secret that much in the marketing world, resorts included, tries to please everyone.

One Important Line
Origin has one of the best business blogs around. They tackle a bunch of unique, yet relevant topics and pick the brains of unique personalities with insight-filled interviews.

One of their recent posts, aptly titled “Screw ‘The Customer is Always Right’” addressed this very thing. One line stood out and made me wonder if, perhaps, it was the most important marketing statement someone has declared in a very long time.

“As a brand, [Jay Peak Resort has] been very comfortable in NOT pleasing everyone. This can be felt in some of the advertising language, many of the chosen visuals to represent the brand and certainly in their social channels.”

Think about that.

On the vanilla-o-meter, maybe resorts need to wander away from the safe shelter of 100 and start to give their marketing a bit more of an edge.

Maybe we need to put the ski porn down for a second and tell a different story that *gasp* everyone may not like.

I’ve often shared my love of Jay Peak’s marketing style, and I really think this is one of the reasons why that I simply didn’t realize until now. Perhaps Sugarloaf was onto something when they sarcastically thanked someone who hated their new site.

One Last Voice
Marketing can be described as many things. Among those is storytelling. Marketing, at the core, always seems to have the structure of a narrative.

So when you look at a list of storytelling rules written by the best (Pixar) through a marketing lens, this principle suddenly rings truer than usual.

Safe marketing feels good to us marketers, but maybe, just maybe, it’s poison to our audience. They don’t remember it, they don’t feel anything, they don’t tell anyone, they message never makes it past their retinas, it’s just…well…there. Right along side all the other marketers’ work.

Maybe it’s time for a change.

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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