I want to tell you about Naturetrek, a specialist birdwatching and wildlife holiday company that is based in the UK but provides amazing wildlife adventure holidays around the world.
The Theory & Practice Of Differentiating Your Business
My blog shares plenty of the theory about differentiating a business but it’s nice to see the concepts of differentiation, strategic focus and niche marketing in practice and I think Naturetrek is a great example.
Of course it helps in that it combines two areas of particular interest to me, travel/holidays and wildlife. I’ve already written about travel agency differentiation.
It also gives me an excuse to share some of my favourite photos from my wildlife safari holidays.African wild dogs are a rare sighting – this is from my trip to Botswana
What is Naturetrek?
To quote from the Naturetrek website
“Naturetrek operates the largest selection of professionally organised, expert-led wildlife holidays and tours in the world. We’ve been organising specialist wildlife tours for 25 years.”
That’s a strong unique selling point. Let’s break down the positioning statement:
- A very clear what – professionally organised, expert-led wildlife holidays and tours
- And where – all around the world – I’ll list some of the tours later so you can see how specialised it is.
- And how many – a combination of “the largest selection” (and it is vast) and “the 25 years” which gives confidence and credibility.
Naturetrek Sample Tours
Here are some examples of Naturetrek wildlife holidays taken from their 2012 brochure that arrived a couple of weeks ago:
You’ll see quite a variety from what I’d think are the popular holidays to some very specialist tours:
- Kenya’s Wildlife
- Namibia, Botswana & Zambia – Etosha to the Victoria Falls
- Finland – Just Brown Bears
- Spitzbergen – Real Of The Polar Bear
- Wolves & Bustards In Rural Spain
- Temples & Tigers – The Best Of Northern India
- Borneo’s Orang-utans
- The Carmague In Spring
- Iceland in Autumn – Glaciers, Icebergs & Waterfalls
- Bulgaria’s Dragonflies
- Butterflies In Croatia
- And many, many more – the range of wildlife and nature tours that Naturetrek offer is remarkable.
Wildlife Holidays Are AmazingElephants, again in Botswana
Without trying to sound like I’m promoting Naturetrek, I can’t put into words just how special it is to see animals in the wild.
Margaret and I have become addicted to safari holidays in Southern Africa. We did our first in 2001 and our sixth in 2008. Unfortunately my health issues have caused us to stop but I’d like to think that in 2012 or 2013 we can venture into the wilds again.
Still it does show that you should take the chance to do something this special when you can because you never know what is around the corner.
We’ve seen some amazing things including this incredible sighting of a female leopard who appeared in front of us and then climbed a tree to put on a show.The stunning highlight of a great holiday in Botswana – our best leopard sighting ever
This Isn’t A Naturetrek Holidays Review
I want to make it clear that this isn’t a review of Naturetrek wildlife holidays because we haven’t travelled with them.
When we’ve been to Southern Africa – South Africa, Botswana and Zambia – it has always been with a specialist South Africa travel agency – Cedarberg – who have been excellent. We met a couple of South Africans on a cruise holiday and it sounded wonderful so the next year we went to Cape Town, the Garden Route and finished near the Addo Elephant National Park. We were hooked.
We had talked about doing one of the European bear holidays with Naturetrek to celebrate my 50th birthday but my health problems got in the way.
I love getting the Naturetrek brochure to see where we could go but there are aspects of the marketing which don’t quite tip me over from interest to action. Their MD, David Mills asked for reasons and I sent him a long email.
It will be interesting to see if he responds and how quickly. In fact Naturetrek may not realise it but if, when and how they respond to my reply to the request to their question “why haven’t you bought from us” has become a big moment of truth which could define the relationship on the purchase tipping point.
Update on Naturetrek – it took five weeks to receive an acknowledgement from my email which was disappointing and I suspect only happened because of this blog.
Have You Been On A Naturetrek Wildlife Holiday?
I’m using Naturetrek as an example of a business which has a very strong position in a tightly defined niche but I’m very happy for this article to include comments from those people who have been on one of the Naturetrek tours.
Did you have a great time?
Did you see the wildlife you hoped to see?
Did you find the company provided good customer service and responded well to your needs?
Would you go back again and would you recommend a Naturetrek wildlife holiday to other people?
Key Success Factors For A Wildlife Holiday
I’ll just step away from Naturetrek and share my thoughts on the key success factors for a wildlife holiday.
- The wildlife or nature experience. Animals and birds follow their own rules and in the wild, no sighting can be guaranteed. However they have patterns of behaviours which can be predicted. Your experience will depend on what you see, what you see them doing, how long you see them and how close you are. When it’s right it just feels so magical to be sharing their world.
- Whether there is a guide and if so, the quality of the guide. You may have assumed that professional guiding was always included in a wildlife holiday but you can drive around the South African National Parks like the world famous Kruger Park on your own in a hire car. A good guide and/or tracker can make a big difference to your wildlife experience in terms of what you see and learn. They’ll have plenty of great stories to share as well.
- The time of the year you go. This impacts on the weather and the environment. Too hot, too cold, too rainy and your experience won’t be as good as it could be. Quality of wildlife sightings depend on how lush the bush is and surprising large animals can hide.
- The accommodation and food has to be appropriate to your holiday environment and expectations. The menu can also be an issue as we don’t eat the game we’ve been admiring and filming.
- The other people on the holiday. We’re generally talking about small groups on wildlife holidays and you’re likely to be together for much of the time.
- What else you can do on the holiday. We’re not sunbathing by the swimming pool type of people and the luxury spa treatments that are sometimes offered don’t appeal either. During the wildlife intensive sections, we’re happy to read and catch up on sleep – you match your times to the animals and that can mean very early mornings. It’s also nice to have some history and/or culture included to yourself more of a feeling for the country you’re visiting.
Paul Simister is a business strategy coach who helps business owners to differentiate their businesses and develop winning strategies. Get your free copy of the ebook The Six Steps Profit Formula.
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