Over the past fifteen years, Expedia has established itself as the world’s leading online travel agency. Many online travel agencies seem to have the same information-heavy feel, with potential customers plugging in the days and times they wish to travel and receiving a slew of available hotels and flights at the click of a button. As the company grew to include 150,000 hotels on their site and drew millions of visitors a day, they decided a brand re-haul was in order to properly utilize the “unparalleled scope” they had achieved in the online travel industry. Launching their “Find Yours” campaign in July 2012, Expedia sought to break away from “the commoditized feel of online travel booking” and instead find a way to engage their customers, making the brand personal as well as functional. The new tagline will replace the company’s old slogan of “Where You Book Matters.”
Joe Megibow, Expedia’s vice president and GM stated the company wanted to bring back a personal touch to the travel experience. He explained that “in a world where every traveler and every trip is unique, ‘Find Yours’ is our effort to capture the magic of travel and to make travel personal again. With more travel options than anyone in the world, no matter who you are and what you are looking for, we can help you ‘Find Yours.'” As a part of the campaign, travelers are encouraged to submit personal photos, videos, and stories of their traveling experience with Expedia via Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Harnessing the social media sphere even further, Expedia offered monetary prizes or all-expenses-paid trips as incentive to get users involved in the brand’s re-haul. For example, the company encouraged bloggers to compete against one another for who can post a travel photo best exemplifying a given keyword, and invited young filmmakers to created a short film interpreting “Find Yours” from a cinematic perspective. Winners of this contest would be featured in a 60-second Expedia spot airing on national television.
Expedia’s tactic of incorporating customer feedback into their brand message is one explored in Susan Gunelius’ article “10 Laws of Social Media Marketing.” Gunelius explains that companies must follow the “Law of Reciprocity,” when marketing, stating that “a portion of the time you spend on social media should be focused on sharing and talking about content published by others.” The “Find Yours” campaign proved that Expedia valued the personal experiences and opinions of their consumers, and wanted to harness the marketing power that consumer-to-consumer networking can bring. By incorporating customer opinions and needs into their advertising, users will be more likely to share Expedia’s content and spread the word.
By: Claudia Pitarque