No matter the scope of your destination branding project or your specific role, there’s a treasure trove of brand strategy gold here for you.

Over the last few years, our destination marketing strategists have drawn from their collective decades of experience to write volumes about what makes today’s destination and place brands work. From strategy to brand process to storytelling to ongoing stakeholder support and brand execution, we’ve seen it all.

We’ve organized some of our best and most-read brand articles that cover challenges that almost all DMOs run into. This comprehensive and inspiring reading list can help you lead your destination marketing organization (DMO) toward a smart, effective brand strategy.

Warning: There is too much brand wisdom here to absorb in one sitting. For best results, bookmark this page and share it with your colleagues. You might spark a few good conversations or find the inspiration you need to take the next step. When you do, tell us about it in the comments.

The ultimate place brand reading list for destination marketers

Start from the top or skip to a section:

  1. Destination branding and marketing fundamentals
  2. Developing an authentic destination brand
  3. Leading and involving your stakeholders
  4. Positioning your destination
  5. Your role and career as a destination marketer
  6. Place brand and destination brand success stories

Destination branding and marketing fundamentals

Why destination marketing organizations need to become experts at visitor engagement
Word of mouth has an enormous influence on travel decisions. You can influence the conversation about your tourism destination.

The Four Ps of Marketing for destinations
Pricing, Place, Product and Promotion. What is your organization’s role in each of these categories? Hint: The experience that a destination delivers – its product – can be its most meaningful promotional tool.

Definition of destination branding

Developing an authentic destination brand

Why destination marketers need to understand Place DNA®
Your destination’s brand is a choice. Its identity is not a choice.

3 essential elements of the place brand formula
Authentic destination brands flow from a place’s identity.

Why place branding needs to be built from the inside
Your brand needs stakeholder involvement to be credible.

A logo is not a brand
It’s only one result of a responsible brand strategy.

Leading and involving your stakeholders

70% say involving the tourism industry is a top destination brand challenge: Here’s why and what to do next
Our strategists include eight tips for nurturing healthy stakeholder relationships.

What tourism businesses need to know about destination branding
Help your tourism stakeholders understand destination branding from your DMO’s point of view.

8 things your DMO needs to know about its tourism operators
Understand your local industry’s needs to help your stakeholders where they need it most.

6 things tourism businesses should know about their DMO
This post can help your stakeholders understand how the world looks from your DMO’s perspective.

4 RFP questions your destination brand agency must answer banner

Positioning your destination

Need better visitor stories? Improve your place product
Your visitors gab about the experiences they have, which directly impacts your brand.

Place brands that lack substance are doomed to disappoint
The overarching story of your destination needs to flow from its identity to set the right expectations for visitors.

The sea of sameness: A destination branding paradox
Resist watering down your message. Tourism advocacy flows from the passionate communities that make your destination distinct.

Don’t build your destination’s brand through advertising
Use this post as a gut check for your branding process.

How destinations can increase word-of-mouth promotion by designing socialgenic experiences
Remarkable experiences lead to remarkable storytelling and positive word of mouth.

Your role and career as a destination marketer

4 RFP questions your destination brand agency must answer square banner

Place brand manager roles are expanding: here’s why and what to do next
The three Cs of place brand management will help you thrive in your evolving role

8 things new destination marketing leaders need to know
Do your best work in the fascinating and complex field of destination marketing.

A destination marketer’s guide to strategic leadership
This strategic planning process can help you lead your team from “Where are we?” to “We did it! What’s next?”

The one magic question every destination marketer must ask
If you can’t answer this question, you know what to change.

5 inspiring stories from destinations making a difference
Your role in destination marketing can help make the world a better place.

Place brand and destination brand success stories

Our team at Destination Think has led rebranding projects with many destination marketing organizations (DMO) around the world using the principles we’ve shared here. These are a few examples.

Case study: How Campbell River rebranded itself from the inside out

Colorado Tourism Office announces new tourism regions following a state-wide branding project:
Colorado Tourism Office announcement and report
Read more about the collaboration process.

Gold Coast Tourism rebrands by unearthing its Place DNA®

Working in isolation is risky. Here’s why Tourism Calgary built strategy and brand with a team-wide, collaborative process.

Here are more examples from our network of international destination marketers:

Does a brand make a difference? Nashville refined “Music City” to the tune of 60+ straight months of growth and counting.

Letting go of brand control: Why the Swedish Tourist Association empowers residents to speak for themselves

If you made it this far, it’s safe to say that destination branding is a part of your work. Download our white paper, 4 RFP questions your destination brand agency must answer to start your next project with confidence.

Featured image credit: Alejandro Alvarez

1 Comment

  1. Raj kumar

    Your notes help me alot thank you so much


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