TUI Travel set for Christmas repositioning of key brands

TUI Travel is planning a major repositioning of its flagship Thomson and First Choice brands at the end of the year to coincide with the Christmas season.

While the leisure travel group will not reveal specific details of what the changes will entail, it is thought that First Choice will be marketed more directly to families, while Thomson will focus on business customers.

Tim Williamson, TUI Travel marketing and product director says currently both the brands cater for a mixed group of corporate and leisure audiences, and its task now will be to further differentiate the two brands.

In March this year, TUI merged its Thomson business with First Choice to form TUI Travel. It came after rival Thomas Cook and My Travel also merged in the same year.

Since the acquisition, TUI Travel has invested the majority of its marketing budget into First Choice in a bid to raise its profile. But, from next month, it will be investing equally in both the brands to develop separate “through-the-line campaigns targeting different sets of audiences”. The campaigns will be created by its advertising agency Beattie McGuiness Bungay and its media agency MediaCom.

From October 1, Williamson will step into the wider role of customer director, joining TUI Travel’s board of directors. Williamson says, with the new marketing strategy in place, he will shift his focus to customer service and on “fixing service propositions and overseas delivery” until the middle of next year.

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