A few years ago, Bruce Smith experienced a slowdown in his Salt Lake City-based travel agency. Airlines had eliminated his sales commissions. The recession and recent terrorist attacks also took a toll. And because the travel industry was ultra-competitive, he knew he had to find ways to distinguish his company from thousands of other travel agencies.
Then, he had a fortunate accident. His wife asked him where they would celebrate their first wedding anniversary. When he gave her a blank look, she set about planning a trip-but wouldn’t tell him what she was planning. Because he enjoyed the mystery leading up to the trip, and the hints his wife gave him, he repackaged his travel service as The Veiled Voyage, selling ‘destination unknown’ vacations to couples and others.
Smith’s clever branding strategy was a hit. It not only helped him create a unique and memorable brand, but also made him ‘slightly’ famous.
Now, most of Smith’s business comes through referrals from happy clients who eagerly tell their friends about The Veiled Voyage. He’s regularly featured in newspapers, magazines and radio programs and was even invited to speak at a national travel conference. Moreover, he’s been able to extend his brand with a major grocery store chain through a lucrative co-branding relationship that has further expanded his company.
The ‘Slightly’ Famous You
Some business owners attract clients and customers like magic. They do not cold call or rely on advertising. Yet they’re regularly featured in newspapers and magazines and get invited to speak at conferences. Everyone knows their name, and they get all the business they can handle.