How Signature Vacations Used Research To Successfully Launch Its New Brand

William D. Ratcliffe
Millward Brown
and
Christopher Robinson
Signature Vacations

In 1994, ITH, a loose portfolio of packaged tour companies, faced a question that haunt executives everywhere. Do we work to revive fading brands or start over? Three years after the launch of a new brand, Signature Vacations, the company has become a travel industry leader. This paper details the role of research in developing the business case for re-branding, developing the new brand name, logo, positioning and communications, and research for monitoring the brand's progress over time. It further summarizes Millward Brown's learning on how to increase the likelihood of new brand launch success.

'Don't Worry – Be Happy,' the song by Bobby McFerrin, launched Signature Vacations three years ago, and marked the creation and development of the leading tour operator brand in Canada. Since the launch, the advertising and the music has changed, but the brand positioning summed up in that line has remained steadfast.