How some history of AVIS can teach you how to sell more holidays and make more money

“If you are not in business for fun or profit, what the hell are you doing there?” so said one time CEO of AVIS rental Cars – Robert Townsend. It is also pretty hard having fun if you are not making a profit!

The travel press is full of examples of failed volume travel businesses in a price slashing frenzy racing their competition to the bottom. These companies may couch their downfall in blaming over regulation but the reality is, they sold too cheaply to get volume.

For the Independent Travel business owner the answer is – more customers, who keep buying for longer and spend more when they buy.

To do this you need:

  • a core central online marketing hub ( your website )
  • landing pages on your website that capture your prospects
  • Automated messages that charm enquirers and turn them into clients
  • Emails that stay in touch with them and get them to buy again and again

But going back to Robert Townsend, there is also a key to these messages that you send. You must have a USP ( Unique Selling Point). All successful businesses have one. In Robert’s case, he was selling a commodity – there were loads of rental businesses out there and when he took over, Avis was nearly bust.

Over the course of all the research that was done to work out what the USP of Avis was so that they could communicate it effectively they came up with the advertising line:

” Because we try harder”

What this line did was reposition the Number 1 at the time – Hertz, as too big to care. Sound familiar? Any travel companies out there that you fancy you could compete with because you are not too big to care?

Before you can start to market effectively you need to know what you are marketing and be able to tell someone your USP in one or two short sentences.

We started Net Effect because we wanted to help independent travel businesses compete more effectively online because we believe that travel is different and requires that personal touch that only Independent Travel Business owners are able to master.


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