We value your values: A Travel Agent Case Study
Within the travel agent industry, many potential clients struggle to find the value in hiring an agent to plan their trip. There becomes a disconnect and distrust in the client's mind that they are wasting their money. What causes this lack of connection and understanding?
Oftentimes, travel agencies are not optimized for efficient and effective conversation, and this results in the struggle of bringing in leads and customers. Additionally, do the clients feel their values are being addressed? Do they not feel listened to while travel agents plan their trips?
My Solution: Create a travel agency with a team of agents, and provide individual landing pages for each, which showcases the agents' diverse specialty and values, all while prioritizing their personality and encouraging conversation.
Project Summary & Goals
With the existing disconnect and lack of understanding between travel agents and potential clients, I set out to discover the pain points that travelers face and the values that they hold fast to while planning and traveling.
The goal is to prioritize client values and bring in more leads for travel agents. Another major goal will be to allow each agent to showcase their own personality, but still make the landing pages cohesive and of the same brand.
Travel Agencies struggle to embody meaning and storytelling within their brand. They need differentiating factors that will spark the interests of–and optimize conversation with–the client. They also struggle to attract customers, but it could be accomplished if they emphasize and prioritize customer values.
For example, agencies may value sustainability, and the positive impacts they may have on people and the planet. Companies struggle to promote tourism when the act of traveling is environmentally harmful. This is a value that can especially be prioritized, as not only does it have a positive impact to be environmentally friendly, but a majority of millennials value this as well, and statistically travel 10 more days per year than any other generation.
Perspective: In valuing environmentally consciousness, according to Booking.com, 87% of travelers say that they want to travel sustainably. 48% of those individuals then say they rarely or only sometimes manage to travel sustainably. This here reveals a major disconnect in what people value versus how they travel.
I interviewed a 26-year-old independent travel agent who has been in the industry for about 2 years. I proposed, "What are the biggest challenges of being a travel agent?"
I conducted a survey to further dive into the pain points and opinions that travelers have in regard to travel agents. With a total of 42 responses, and a majority of my demographic being between the ages of 18 to 24 and 35 to 44, and an equal split between working remotely and in person, I found that the top five reasons for travel included family vacation, leisure, adventure, business, and romantic getaways. The top five values people look for when traveling include fun, relaxation, freedom, inspiration, and appreciation.
In regard to values, it is also important to note that more than half have experienced travel anxiety. About 70% say being environmentally conscious is important to them, but only 33% say that they value sustainability while traveling. In comparison to the statistics found by Booking.com we again see this disconnect in what people value versus how people travel.
Only 41.7 are interested in using travel agents. It was important to delve into why this might be. What are the perceptions that people have of travel agents?
43.2% of my survey users have used a travel agent before. I wanted to know what that process was like for them.
I created user personas for the three most popular and trending reasons for travel: Adventure, Business, and Romantic Getaways. Mary is looking to travel and go on an adventure for the first time in her life; however, she has severe travel anxiety that she seeks to overcome. Janice is looking for someone to help her plan her upcoming business venture, as she is way too busy with work and seeks to find more sustainable options for travel. Jack is a nurse who is about to get married. He was put in charge of the honeymoon and does not want to let his wife down. The couple values cultural consciousness and appreciation, and he want to include this within their perfect place to travel.
Through journey maps and user flows, I envision what their moods and interactions may be like while navigating to and through Sortie's landing pages.
Logo Research & Process
For Sortie's brand identity, I created a diverse, yet cohesive system, including consideration of the main color palette, personalized profile colors, typographic stylization and hierarchy, and personalized illustrations based on the agent's specialization.
When creating Sortie's social media page, I wanted to explore a variety of posts, including how I would use vector, images, and my illustrations.
Student work at Tyler School of Art and Architecture, Temple University
Abby Ryan Guido, Art Director
Figma and Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and After Effects