CheapCaribbean.com had been offering packages and deals to the Caribbean and Mexico for more than a decade when it was acquired by Apple Leisure Group (ALG) in 2013. However, it had remained a relatively obscure OTA with brand awareness among less than 3% of North American travelers. Furthermore, revenues remained flat and consistency in marketing efforts and staffing had been sporadic at best. CheapCaribbean.com and ALG turned to MMGY Global to create a new brand and marketing strategy that would create a clear direction for the brand, build North American awareness and increase company revenue.
Following a major rebrand with a new brand voice and new look and feel, MMGY Global focused PR efforts on positioning the brand as the ultimate resource for beach escapes to the Caribbean and Mexico and touting the brand as a thought leader in the industry. In alignment with the PR initiatives, MMGY Global's social media and content marketing teams designed a series of integrated content campaigns to increase brand awareness, online engagement and website traffic.
Using our HEMISPHERESTM branding process, MMGY Global completed extensive research to build CheapCaribbean.com’s brand positioning and architecture. We conducted more than 30 stakeholder sessions, utilized quantitative insights from our annual Portrait of American Travelers® study and conducted qualitative focus groups with consumers in three different feeder markets across the country. The analysis culminated with the creation of a brand that limited reliance on price and rate, but instead featured CheapCaribbean.com’s expertise in beach vacations and insightful agent service.
"For the love of the beach" is a brand essence that now drives marketing, operations and promotions strategy for the company and creates a focus on specialized insight in a fun environment that could only be found in a company that specializes in travel to the beach. Following an early 2015 internal launch, the new brand culminated in a 2015 consumer campaign that reflected these brand values and broke free of the category’s sea of sameness.
To promote this new brand personality, MMGY Global employed a comprehensive news bureau program to garner consumer, business and trade coverage. Media tactics including traditional press releases and pitches, executive media tours, media mailers, special events and attendance and participation in industry conferences and panels were utilized to tout the brand's offerings, differentiators and special announcements.
To further bring the brand to life, MMGY Global developed a strategy of always-on creative content that could be repurposed and republished on CheapCaribbean.com's social media platforms, website, emails and blog (hosted on Tumblr). MMGY Global developed engaging content including branded videos, branded imagery, articles, lists, infographics, social media promotions and even a humorous live infomercial. MMGY Global also employed a user-generated content program to further authenticate CheapCaribbean.com's content and entice more engagement on social media.
View all of CheapCaribbean.com's Tumblr and social content on blog.cheapcaribbean.com.
Social Media Content
Within six months of the new brand's launch, CheapCaribbean.com’s national awareness increased by 70%. Research conducted to test their new video content and digital advertising reflected this increase as well, showcasing a 62% lift in ad recall and a 29% lift in relative brand awareness.
MMGY Global’s PR program garnered 1,105,843,939 impressions in national and key regional media outlets, including a segment with CheapCaribbean.com's CEO on Bloomberg's Market Makers, as well as placements in The New York Times, CNBC, Forbes, The Boston Globe, Yahoo! Travel, Marie Claire and more. The results have also had an impact on the bottom line, with year-over-year revenue up by 7.5% since launch.
The online content introduced the new CheapCaribbean.com brand to key markets and inspired engagement online while driving traffic to the website. In one month alone, CheapCaribbean.com gained almost 11,000 followers on Facebook by pairing our social media content strategy with a social media advertising program. CheapCaribbean.com's impressions and engagements across all social media networks, including Tumblr, continue to increase month over month, some by up to +301%.