Like all the free market’s great and iconic institutions – Apple, KFC, Elton John’s hairline – Radius has felt the need to have an occasional makeover over the years. Re-branding is to tourism what being fast on the draw is to a gunslinger. There are only two types in this business: the quick and the dead. Among the latter are those companies who failed to regularly update their brochures to reflect ever changing tastes and expectations in visual advertising. As Bob Dylan – who knows a thing or two about reinvention – puts it: “he who is not busy being born is busy dying.”
As we celebrate our 25th birthday this weekend, we thought it would be nice to briefly look back at how our image and presentation has evolved.
Especially in our early years, before the Internet took over the world and our online presence became central to our identity, brochures distributed in tourist information offices and hostels and hotels were the company’s sole means of telling the public who we are. They still are hugely important today, especially for the all-important “walk in”: the visitor who has made a spontaneous decision that morning.
The brochure is the basic programming of the business. If it doesn’t work, everything else fails. One feature of Radius that has not changed in a quarter century is that we have wonderful guides – informed, passionate, and professional. They only get an opportunity to prove this, however, if we get our advertising right.
Our identity has evolved over time – from Bayern Bikes to Radius Touristik to The Original Munich Walks to today’s Radius Tours and Bikes. And with it, our marketing has changed also. We know we have been successful at this because of the way the business has continuously grown, and also by the fact that competitors have paid us the universal compliment of imitation. The key to success here is very simple: change your advertising if need be, but not your standards. To borrow a phrase from football: form – in this case, marketing – is temporary; class is permanent.