Carrier to double investment in agent fams and joint marketing

Rae Brader

Luxury operator Carrier is doubling its investment in cooperative marketing and fam trips as it looks to work closer with a wider range of agentsWhile Carrier hasn’t revealed the amount it is investing in trade marketing and fam trips, the operator said the existing “significant amount” was being doubled to have even more impact as part of its “trade-focused strategy”. 

Carrier announced last month that it was moving its office from Cheadle to Didsbury in Greater Manchester, with the new premises and its 70-strong team dedicated to serving the trade. 

The brand’s Alderley Edge retail store, which operates under the Carrier brand as an independent agency, will now support all direct bookings. A small number of staff who were previously managing direct bookings at the headquarters are to move to the retail branch. 

The operator has pledged to put “agents at the heart of the business”, knowing that some in the trade carried misconceptions about its investment in agencies. 

Rick Milne, head of sales, who is pictured above with his sales team (Sally Willmer, Georgia Bowhay and Raj Mistry) said the business had always been trade-focused, with 80% of its turnover coming through agent bookings, but that message needed to be reinforced “better and stronger”. As a result he believes more luxury-focused agents will begin to work with the brand. 

“In the past we didn’t always ask agents what they wanted, especially in terms of marketing,” Milne said. “Many that don’t work with us yet have a misconception that we’re not trade-friendly and some people question our trade credentials, but the reality is so far from that. The trade makes up 80% of our business and we’ve built up brilliant ties with agents. 

“We have had a change in strategy. Previously our marketing wasn’t focused enough on agents and now it is – as a result we are doubling the amount of money we invest in marketing and educationals.” 

Milne said that didn’t necessarily mean more marketing funds or fam trips, but it would mean a better quality of both. 

He said the operator’s peak promotions would be personalised and overbranded by agents without any Carrier branding at all. This is part of a wider project Carrier is working on with a branding and marketing agency, with more details to be unveiled next year. 

Prior to revealing the trade-focused strategy, Carrier brought in a marketing steering group made up of different types of agency owners: a homeworker, the boss of a high-street agency chain and a smaller boutique agency.&nb

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