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How to use destination marketing as a brand

We talk about building worlds around a physical locations, and how it’s an effective marketing approach for brands and properties alike

The Creative Director’s Manifesto

If you’ve been following HYPER, you've heard us talk about the career paths of creatives, creative entrepreneurship, and the changing nature of creative work.

And right now, it feels like everything is happening at the same time. And that genuinely good work is often relegated to the whims of discovery pages and algorithms.

But in a noisy, competitive world, creative ideas and execution are all we have.

One thing we’re hyped about this year is Space to Breathe, a project curated by the homies at Air.

Space to Breathe is a manifesto for Creative Directors, and you can order a physical book that outlines their vision for doing creative work differently.

It's an absolute gem, a brilliant piece of work that was designed in collaboration with visionaries like Paul Raffaele, Barbie Bertisch, and Ryan Mack.

If you want a copy, grab one by signing up here.

If nothing else, it’ll sit nicely on your coffee table.

WTF is Destination Marketing?

Or perhaps it’s location marketing.

Either way, we’re gonna unpack both.

Destinations, up first.

When we talk about destination marketing, we’re talking about how tourist shops, ranches, farms, hotels, etc., can leverage their brand to build not only a merchandise operation but a full brand experience.

Here are some examples of this.

Set in Wyoming, Diamond Cross is the defacto ranch of the Wild West. A quintessential peek into cowboy living, you get the full experience of Jackson Hole, leaving you wishing you lived off the land.

You can book events, buy merch, film movies, and more at DCR, and it turns out they have some fire merchandise, too.

Oren has some fun thoughts about DCR and how they’re taking advantage of this unique positioning as a brand.

If you’ve ever been to a Soho House, you know that their hand soap is GOATED.

It’s the kind of smell that has you rethinking whether you should toss all your soap and shampoo products and go into debt to buy theirs.

“Theirs” being Cowshed, Soho House’s in-house personal care brand. No matter which property you visit globally, they have the same soaps, shampoos, and washes on hand.

And it all points back to the brand’s connection to England, where Soho House was founded. There’s a serenity to Cowshed products, a nod to the English countryside, handcrafted, and made with real ingredients.

Luxury loungewear.

Silky PJs.

The Ritz in Paris nailed this progress partnership with Frame Denim to launch a luxurious, upscale loungewear collection for customers.

It’s something that feels upscale without being highbrow, and clearly shows the type of customer they want to attract.

More hotels should design PJs in general.


Now, when we talk about location marketing, which is a bit different.

This is when brands sell locations to their customers as part of their creative vision, and design products as a byproduct of the location.

Like destination marketing, location marketing is a strong world-building tactic for brands.

Of course, we must acknowledge the almighty Ralph Lauren’s influence on this trend, who has long been known for having properties around the US, each with a different aesthetic and vibe.

All of which points back to the different shades of the RL brand.

And over time, more brands have adopted this approach to forging a deeper bond and connection with their customers.

And as corny as “we don’t sell products, we sell a LiFeStYLe!” sounds, it works.

No one’s unique; we’re all drawn to destinations and locations, finding affinity to a brand.

Here are a few examples of this right now.

Flamingo Estate

“High atop the hills of Los Angeles, hidden by a lush orchard and dense gardens, Flamingo Estate is a pleasure-obsessed home of sun-worship, folk mythologies, and psychedelic remedies grown only by farmers we know and trust.”

What an opening line.

Oren loves gassing up these guys– and to be fair, I have some of their olive oil, and it slaps.

But Flamingo Estate is the manifestation of rich, textured, California living. From sundries and soaps to produce and gift boxes, the unboxing experience alone feels like a luxury. And the temptation to live off the land is real.

We’re not just selling you honey and lip balms, we’re selling you “a quest for intimacy — between plants and people, body and spirit, heaven and earth.”

This is the Flamingo Estate cult

Brunello Cucinelli

Ah, Solomeo.

The Mecca of menswear. Many wish to visit, and few ever will. But the beautiful commune tucked away in central Italy is what drives so much of the allure around the brand.

If you’re unfamiliar, Brunello is arguably one of the most important fashion designers in the world right now.

And a big reason why is Solomeo, the brand’s headquarters. Solomeo is Brunello’s entire design philosophy, business approach, and lifestyle aspirations actualized.

Those who have visited describe it as a spiritual experience.

The property is filled with employees who source, design, and make every product with pride.

They share meals and glasses of wine together, they walk the land together.

This is the world Brunello has created around his eponymous label. His whole focus is to create a sustainable luxury brand with integrity and quality, not just another transactional label.

Other stuff

A few thoughts on building luxury brands

Oren spoke to the Sweat Equity team about building luxury brands vs normal products. Here’s where you can get the full scoop 👇️ 

HYPER Trend Reports

If you’re interested in brand building, check out our market reports. We spend many, many hours researching markets, categories, and brands & products within the consumer space–all so that you don’t have to.

How to Source Blanks 101 — HERE​ 
A guide to finding and producing your own merch

Market reports on Running, Golf and Tennis — HERE
A guide to each sport, the market opportunities, and how to launch your own brand

Looking for brand strategy, research, or merchandise support?

Shoot us a note here: [email protected]

We’d love to chat!

Oren ​& Clayton ❤️ you