Typically all travel agency marketing efforts accentuate the company's unique selling point ("USP"). The USP is the reason that clients would purchase travel through you rather than anywhere else. Your branding message will most likely involve three elements:
People - What do the people in your agency represent in terms of expertise and personality?
Assets - What assets do you have at your disposal that enhance your expertise?
Expectation - What type of experience can clients who use your agency expect?
A successful branding strategy is going to emphasize the people associated with your agency, most importantly, yourself. Many agencies mistakenly place their branding emphasis on product. Their websites and marketing collateral are filled with the logos of suppliers. This is a valid tactic, because people certainly do respond to Carnival's logo. However, why would the client buy a Carnival cruise from your travel agency rather than from Carnival or Sam's Travel Club? If the purchasing decision comes down to product, it too often becomes centered on price, a battle that is not the ground you want to defend as a full-service travel agency.
Travel agencies are far better served focusing on their employees and company culture. Who represents the agency? Why are they unique? What is their training? How much traveling have they done? What is their story? Why are they travel advisors? Does the agency have a niche? Ensure that the individuals who make up the corporate body each understand and reflect the brand message of the whole. Businesses are called "companies" for a reason. Look to the company you keep and build your business on the most solid of foundations - its individual associates. What other assets do you have at your disposal? Is the fact you are a local business an asset? What relationships in the world of travel have you built? What consortia do you belong to? What inside information do you possess? What type of buying power or insight do you have through consortia or other organizations?
Finally, given the people who work at your agency and the assets you have at your command, what is the benefit to the client? What kind of experience can people who use your agency expect? Personal attention? Expert planning? Local accountability? Satisfaction? Advocacy? A life-long relationship? Long term consulting and advice?
These elements, centered around your core values, are the stuff of which brands are made. Let's consider now how you communicate that story and maintain it by developing your travel agency brand persona and story.
Exercise Spend some time going over each of the elements of a brand: People, Assets and Expectations. Write full paragraphs on each at first, and then drill it down until you craft a short, clear and succinct message that details what is truly unique about your travel planning practice.