Thursday, 10 November 2011

Spain to ‘refresh’ brand with new marketing plan

WTM: Spain to ‘refresh’ brand with new marketing plan

The Spanish Tourist Office’s new UK director, Enrique Ruiz de Lera, said Spain faced major challenges and was seeking to learn solutions from the experiences of major consumer brands.
He compared Spain to Microsoft – leading the market for many years but now challenged by Apple – or, in Spain’s case, Turkey and Croatia. Ruiz de Lera said: “These destinations are competing hard. They have excellent product and they’ve learnt from our mistakes. We need to refresh our brand.”
Ruiz de Lera also said Spain was seen as “uncool” by young people, in the same way as under-30s don’t want to buy Levi jeans because they are worn by their parents.
As part of a drive to target the younger market, the Spanish Tourist Office, is working with MTV on branded content – a first for Spain and MTV. Reality TV show Fix You will air in January.
Objectives of the marketing strategy include a drive to increase the average tourist spend by 15% in three years – a goal that Ruiz de Lera admited was ambitious.
“It’s a long shot. When we planned the goal, the economy was less difficult. But you have to be bold,” he said.
The STO also hopes to diversify the market over the next three years, both seasonally and geographically.
Ruiz de Lera also said product diversification was necessary, with a cross-selling plan to encourage tourists to experience more. “A visitor to the Costa del
Sol can add on a few days in Malaga, for example.”
The UK market was still extremely price-sensitive, he said, and Spain had to be careful not to price itself out of the market.