The Fleewinter ethos is about a team of travellers passionate about their destinations and giving their clients the best possible advice. Typically the holiday properties they find are villas or small boutique hotels that offer more space and privacy than the hotel chains, in locations that allow clients to really experience the destination and community they have chosen to explore.
We worked with Alisdair to create the identities and brochures for two brands in particular - Rebali Riads and Argentous Yacht.
Rebali Riads is a collection of six villas on the beach in Morocco but run like a boutique hotel so you have space and privacy but also great service at your fingertips. Fleewinter have found that word of mouth has been the most important marketing tool, especially with the growth of social channels and websites such as TripAdvisor. Creating a brand that really delivers on client experience has led to high ratings on Trip Advisor which helps to target new clients, and an active Facebook presence allows the brand to directly connect with both new and existing clients. Social has proved more effective for the hotel or holiday brands themselves, rather than the overall tour operator, providing a strong personal contact and a way to extend the brand relationship.
Argentous is a new concept for Fleewinter. It's a large yacht holiday targeted at people who love the idea of sailing but who don’t have the experience to know how to go about setting a trip up. The main challenge with a new market is to get the marketing moving so they are doing more above-the-line activity and PR as well as utilising personal contacts.
The most important marketing medium (out of social / digital / print ) has been digital, providing the greatest depth for content and detail. Given how much people are spending on their holidays – probably the most important week or two of their year so they want to get it right, and with competitors information at their fingertips, an active digital presence is vital.
Print is seen as a 'figurehead' for the brand, a traditional design focus to give the brand more authority. As Alisdair says, "For Argentous... I was asked by one of the first customers to book if we had a brochure – at that exact moment the courier delivered them... so it was great to pop the first few straight in the post, and his booking was duly confirmed."
Overall the key marketing challenges Alisdair has noticed is managing the complexity and rapidly increasing cost of digital. When the business was first set up 10 years ago, a few months after Google launched adwords, they were able to ride that wave in a way that is not possible now.
What this tells us is that even though the individual channels are evolving, a multichannel approach is still the most effective marketing strategy.