Jamie Biesiada
Jamie Biesiada

Jamie Biesiada is on leave. This insight originally appeared in the Home-based Agent eNewsletter Jan. 2, 2017.

Romeo and Juliet may have famously argued names aren't important, but the opposite is true for travel sellers.

Whether it's the name of the franchise they're buying into or their own agency name, for travel advisers, a name can mean a lot.

"It's monumentally important, just any identity as a small business owner when you're trying to go to market in any business," said Drew Daly, general manager of network engagement and performance at Cruises Inc., CruiseOne and Dream Vacations. "But even in travel, you want an identity that speaks to the products and services that you offer."

That's one of the reasons that CruiseOne franchise owners were given a second name choice earlier this year in April: Dream Vacations. The moniker was born out of feedback from franchise owners who said, "I wish people would know I sold more than just cruise," Daly said.

"CruiseOne is a solid brand as well and has great brand identity and equity, and that's certainly our flagship of what we do," he said. Its tagline at the time was "dream vacations start here," so the natural thing to do was offer a Dream Vacations brand.

Now, some nine months since Dream Vacations was introduced, Daly said the network consists of about 70% of Dream Vacations franchises versus CruiseOne. More than 90% of new franchises that join have adopted the Dream Vacations moniker.

"I think overall it's been helpful for all our brands, just in general, and it helps inject energy and momentum into the business, and certainly into how people market their business," he said.

Jim Augerinos, president of Perfect Honeymoons, is very aware of what a name can mean. In the past 27 years, his company has built its reputation on providing couples with honeymoons to remember. But recently, Augerinos has come to realize he's missing out on a key demographic: Repeat clients.

While clients enjoy their honeymoons, Augerinos said his business' name implies all they do is plan honeymoons, and previous clients go elsewhere for future vacations.

So in 2017 he plans on launching a new name, Getaways Perfected, with different arms of the business, like Perfect Honeymoons and Perfect Babymoons. Then he can market to existing clients for anniversary travel, family travel and more.

"It's time for us to branch out a bit, I think," he said.

At the end of the day, Augerinos said the most important thing behind an agency is the customer service it provides. But, especially for agents new to the industry, there is something in a name. "A catchy name is kind of something that you wear on your sleeve and you have on your business card and you can be proud of," he said.

Daly offered some advice when it comes to a business name. 

"You want to keep it simple," he said. "You want it to be relevant and relative to your target audience, your local consumers that you're going to be marketing to."

And while he admitted he is slightly biased toward a franchise business model, he did say joining an organization with a good name and marketing footprint can give agents a leg up.

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