A destination’s brand is a perception and belief that lives in the hearts and minds of travelers. A brand is a promise. When you deliver on that promise, you build trust. Do it time and time again, and you gain loyalty. Loyal travelers become evangelists and influencers, generating new business and giving you the opportunity to further reinforce your promise. A great brand is a promise kept.
The approach to re-defining and re-positioning Puerto Rico’s brand was a research-driven, results focused process that began with an extensive “discovery” phase and continues today through a never-ending process of review— dissecting and refining the brand based on market feedback and results.
A brand is not a campaign or a tagline. A campaign is one reflection, or expression, of a brand.
Coca-Cola has deployed hundreds of campaigns and dozens of taglines over the past century, but its brand promise has remained consistent. Iconic destination brands like Visit California and Pure Michigan have done the same. Creative executions and calls to action can – and must – change to reflect the times, but they must stay rooted in that unique brand promise. In the following pages, Discover Puerto Rico outlines the story of “how” (and, more importantly, “why”) we developed the current brand strategy for the Island of Puerto Rico and how that strategy has come to life through award-winning campaigns driving awareness, consideration and visitation to the Island.
Branding starts with research.
With the consumer brand changing with political administrations every four years for more than four decades, we needed a base understanding of where Puerto Rico stood in the minds of consumers and stakeholders. We embraced an exhaustive qualitative and quantitative process that began immediately upon formation of Discover Puerto Rico, aimed at achieving the following:
- Benchmark awareness, familiarity, appeal and likelihood to visit among domestic and global leisure and business audiences.
- Explore and identify Puerto Rico’s brand associations, perceptions and most valued attributes.
- Gauge Puerto Rico’s competitive landscape and identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
- Determine the traveler personas, segments and markets that represent the most potential for Puerto Rico.
- Understand desired travel experiences—both physical and emotional—in Puerto Rico and the drivers that generate traveler interest.
The Platform & Identity:
Through this discovery and research phase, we gathered and analyzed an immense amount of quantitative and qualitative information. However, developing a solid brand position is ultimately based on being able to effectively consolidate and crystallize that data into an authentic, strategic platform that differentiates Discover Puerto Rico from the competitive set.
As part of that process, we performed workshops to understand the “brand archetype” that best defined the Island of Puerto Rico. This brand archetype exercise, a proven technique for effective long-term brand positioning development, provided an emotionally driven, first-person perspective on the brand to help differentiate the Island from other Caribbean destinations that might be perceived to have similar product offerings.
Archetypes are a concept developed by noted psychiatrist Carl Jung, defining 12 primary categories that represent a timeless and recognizable range of human motivations. In branding, this framework helps build a meaningful brand persona that connects authentically with the target audience. Many brands use the archetype spectrum as part of their brand positioning process, from Harley-Davidson embracing The Rebel archetype to Google aligning itself with The Sage.
Through exploration and research, Discover Puerto Rico’s brand archetype was identified as The Lover.
Brand Position: Passionate.
Brand Description: Puerto Rico – a vibrant, colorful celebration infused with a fiery passion, dancing to a beat unlike anywhere else in the world. Sophisticated, yet sexy, rooted in authenticity. Its soul is infectious. Un abrazo (a hug) – enveloped with pride and unapologetically its own, welcoming everyone to share. In Puerto Rico, you’re not just invited to the party – we want you to dance.