Omaha, Neb.-based Travel and Transport (no. 13 on Travel Weekly’s 2019 Power List) launches new branding in the marketplace today.
The company will identify with one name instead of various designators, including Statesman, Ultramar and France, that have lingered through Travel and Transport’s recent growth.
“If you look back over the last five or six years, we’ve been active with acquisitions and growing our reach and solutions,” CEO Kevin O’Malley told BTN. “In 2015 it was Germany; France in 2016. We acquired Statesman in 2017 and bought Radius in 2018. We got to a place where we needed to look at who we are in the marketplace.”
Travel and Transport hired a brand awareness company not only to better understand its name recognition in the market but also to understand the concepts that were synonymous with that recognition, O’Malley continued. “We learned a lot from that study. It was amazing to see how little differentiation there was in the [travel management company] market,” in the eyes of users.
“Even so, our Travel and Transport brand stood strong among competitors, so we wanted to align our business with that name,” which, he added, held associations of “respect” with customers. “You’d think that would be the norm for a TMC, but it really isn’t.”
The one exception to that rule was Travel and Transport’s Radius Travel Network, the TMC membership organization that drives business in more than 130 countries globally. While the organization received a brand update, the name remained the same.
“The Radius name was very strong on a global basis. We need to show that network that we can have a single voice and provide direction for them,” O’Malley said. Once that happens, he said, “it’s not inconceivable that we would take another look at that naming.”
To that end, Travel and Transport is looking at the technology offering to its Radius Travel Network. In the U.S. and Europe, the company uses a customer relationship management platform it calls Leap Advisor to service travelers. It will look to build a web-enabled version of the platform and roll it out to the entire network.
“It offers total visibility into what is happening with the traveler,” said Travel and Transport president and COO Tim Fleming. “Trip history, company travel policy, recommended selections for travelers who have never traveled to certain markets,” he added.
According to the company, the Leap Advisor technology is a differentiator in the TMC market. “Travelers call into other service centers and it takes a long time to explain the issue and who you are, what company you are with,” said Fleming. “Leap pulls all that data, identifying the caller from the phone number and instantly pulling up their information. The traveler feels like we know them. It’s amazing that CRM has not been a tactic used much within the TMC community.”
As Travel and Transport tightens its offerings and leverages the Leap platform more broadly, presumably more corporate clients will get the benefits — as will the Radius partners. The company plans to focus first on larger active markets like China, India and Mexico and then grow out from there.
The company also is focusing on New Distribution Capability, an effort led by executive director of corporate initiatives Kristin Pratt, who joined the TMC in January 2019, as well as hotel content aggregation and its effect on programs. Outside of technology, the company is focusing more on supporting sustainability and traveler well-being, both areas that are trending in the global marketplace and could well serve the Radius Network.
Source: Business Travel News
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