Creative Branding and Positioning for DMOs, with Kylie Kullack

Episode 364:

Kylie Kullack, the Head of Client Engagement at Struck, is a dynamic leader in the realm of brand transformation. Her extensive experience spans diverse sectors, including destination marketing, outdoor recreation, and biotechnology. Known for her strategic acumen and problem-solving prowess, Kylie consistently empowers her teams to achieve exceptional results.

Her impressive portfolio features collaborations with esteemed clients such as the Utah Office of Tourism, Snowbird, Westminster College, and Altabank. Kylie’s expertise extends across traditional and digital marketing communications, where she has seamlessly orchestrated campaigns in collaboration with various agency partners, including creative, public relations, promotion, social media, and event activation teams.

Kylie’s career boasts a diverse client roster, encompassing travel (Catalina Island, Avis Budget Group), QSR/Fast Casual (Jack in the Box), CPG (Uinta Beer, Creminelli Fine Meats), higher education, retail real estate (Sotheby’s International Realty, Coldwell Banker), and premium liquor (Johnny Walker, Bulleit, Balvenie). Outside her professional pursuits, she is an active member of Chief, a leading network of female executives revolutionizing the industry. Kylie’s true joy lies in her role as a parent, cherishing family moments and exploring the vibrant local culinary scene.

On this episode of Destination on the Left, I talk with Kylie Kullack, Head of Client Engagement at Struck, about the evolving world of destination marketing. Kylie shares her expertise in helping brands like Snowbird Resort and Utah’s “Mighty Five” transform their positioning and stand out in increasingly crowded markets. We also explore the importance of collaboration and clear messaging to create memorable visitor experiences.

What You Will Learn in this Episode:

  • Kylie explains the challenges of destination marketing organizations, including limited budgets and complex stakeholder needs, and gives examples of how to overcome them
  • How Struck has worked with clients such as the Utah Office of Tourism and Palisades Tahoe to help them rebrand and reposition
  • How Struck leverages 1-star reviews from unsatisfied visitors who were not their target audience to showcase the resort to the ideal visitor
  • Why we should use a messaging funnel to tailor messages at different stages of the visitor journey, using various channels like social media and visitor centers
  • The importance of involving locals in planning and implementation to create a positive visitor experience

Transformation Work and Brand Positioning

Kylie sheds light on Struck’s focus on working with companies and brands ready to transform, and discusses the transformation work they’ve done for clients such as the Utah Office of Tourism, Snowbird, Sundance, Solitude, and Palisades Tahoe. We dig into the rebranding process, defining a destination’s core positioning and Kylie shares details of the campaign she worked on for the Snowbird Resort and how they used negative feedback to define and appeal to the destination’s ideal audience.

Breaking Through the Crowded Marketplace

On the show, we also explore how tourism brands can break through the crowded marketplace to stand out. Kylie discusses the strategy of dispersing visitation to national parks to avoid overwhelming them and to encourage visitors to explore local state parks and other attractions along the way.

Destination marketing is evolving, and DMOs now need to expand beyond simply attracting visitors to also managing the destination message, involving locals, and addressing various challenges such as public affairs, infrastructure, sustainability, and resident sentiment.

Branded Experiential Design and Collaboration

Kylie and I also talk about the importance of branded spaces and experiential design in reflecting a destination’s values for both visitors and employees. Kylie talks about the importance of collaboration among agency partners and the marketing team, particularly when it comes to clarity of goals and key messages.

Resources:

I am so excited to announce that my first book, Stronger Together: Building World-Changing Collaborations that Succeed, has been released! Help me celebrate this milestone and expand your knowledge about collaboration. Find out more information here: nicolemahoney.com

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