I will head off to Fiji next Monday. The few people who traverse this blog over the next fortnight will be devastated at this news. However, this holiday has brought into focus how much a damaged brand can impact margins.
You see, I'm going to Fiji because I was able to get a bloody good deal for my family. It did not require genius, just some issues relating to Fiji's brand. Our package includes: airfares, resort accommodation, free stay and food for my daughter, several tours and, to top it all off, a AUD650 voucher to spend at the resort.
To spell it out, according to my calculations, there are at least five product and service providers slashing their margins to get the three of us to travel to Fiji. I presume there are others attracted to the deal, but I won't know this until I catch the flight out of Sydney.
And why are these providers cutting their own throats to get us there? Because, frankly, Fiji's brand has been pulverised by the nation's military shoving an elected government out of office and the subsequent rejection of the country from the Commonwealth of Nations (now there's a 'brand' that does need refreshment!).
Coups, whether bloodless or otherwise, and being ostracised by other nations is not the natural fodder of tourism promotion, even though you are unlikely to see or hear evidence of unrest while in Fiji. It is brand-tainting material, which has led this leading Pacific destination to price-driven, tactical marketing - the domain of all damaged brands.
But believe me, none of this will likely cross my mind as I take full advantage of this brand malaise!