Customers Choose a Destination Competitors

Who Decides Who Destination Competitors Are?

Several months ago while discussing the possibilities of conducting research for the development of a brand strategy we asked the executive director of a Chamber of Commerce, “Which nearby destinations and cities do you consider to be your main competitors?” She replied, “None of them, because we try to get along with all of them.”

This response revealed two unsettling things. First, though it is your customers who determine who your competitors are, and this organization did not seem to have a customer focus or realize the power of the customer’s ability to choose other cities. Second, it is not simply not a matter of “getting along,” it’s about generating and sustaining income, jobs, and prosperity for the community. 

No small business would think the way of this Chamber executive. While cities do need to collaborate with each other, they are still operating in a dynamic environment frequently dominated by larger players where customers are the final arbiters.

No community can afford to feel that their neighbors are not competitors. Simply because you collaborate with each other from time to time doesn’t mean that customers do not make choices that will steal your market share. This can be addressed through a brand strategy that takes account of the city’s competitive environment.

Produced by: Total Destination Marketing

Sponsored by: Book:  Destination Branding for Small Cities

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