Five For Five with Jacqui Hartnett

Five For Five with Jacqui Hartnett

President of Starmark

Alliance Connection is beyond fortunate to work with some of the brightest minds in marketing with brands, lifestyle media partners, influencers, entertainment, and the travel and tourism industry. Our strategic marketing skillset can’t help but be elevated just by working with them, so we’re sharing the wealth! Join us as we profile a top mover and shaker in the industry who can help us all up our marketing game.

This month, our strategic marketing spotlight is on Jacqui Hartnett, President of Starmark, a full-service, Agile marketing & advertising agency based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida – and experts in defining brand personality.



Jacqui brings a wealth of professionalism, strategic capabilities and management expertise to her role as President of Starmark. She manages the agency’s operations and leads the Business Development team. Her eye for detail and management skills are valuable assets in planning and galvanizing the success of client programs.

Prior to rejoining Starmark in 2005, Jacqui served as Executive Vice President and partner with GFX International in Chicago, an Inc. 500-ranked national retail graphics solutions company. She began her career as an account coordinator at Starmark Chicago, where, within two years of joining the agency, she became Director of Operations.

Jacqui Hartnett's FIVE FOR FIVE

Jacqui shared with us some marketing tips and strategies for the travel and tourism industry when it comes to defining brand personality, appealing to the next generation of travelers and embracing emerging media and technology.

  • 1.
    It’s critical for travel and hospitality brands to define a clear personality to differentiate and create loyalty.
    Conquer the Sea of Sameness, especially found in the all-inclusive industry, by going beyond the captivating visual presence (photography, design cues, etc.). True differentiation comes from developing your voice- words that express what your experience stands for, and how it makes your guests feel. A clear brand personality is the key to tapping into the feelings that motivate people to engage and purchase.
  • 2.
    They may forget what you said, but they won’t forget how you make them feel. Brand personality helps you own a feeling and a special place in the mind of a consumer.
    Never lose sight of the experience you hope to deliver and the feeling you want to be known for. From your social media feed to your customer service training to your website – make everything about cultivating that feeling. That’s how you come to mean something special in the mind of your consumer, and that’s a major competitive advantage. Just like a person, on top of your core personality, you can demonstrate other attributes in certain situations. Maybe sometimes you take a lighter tone in your social channels, but you’re still true to yourself and your core brand experience.
  • 3.
    Focusing on simple audience demographics to target your message is useful, but to make a real connection and create loyalists, appealing to their personality characteristics will create a stronger emotional tie.
    Defining a brand personality that’s energizing, welcoming and free, for example, will appeal to people across a demographic spectrum. It’s more about what they need more of in their life at a given moment than who they are as census data. Reimagining your marketing as a way to embody an experience and a feeling will help you unlock new ways to reach your audiences.
  • 4.
    To succeed at new emerging media – like TikTok or voice assistants or chatbots – a defined brand personality is essential. You have to know yourself to be yourself.
    With new platforms like TikTok, it’s all about personality and less about visual appeal. When it comes to new tech such as voice assistants and chatbots, you only have words to work with. Are you prepared to define how you sound and what experience you want to deliver? Defining your brand personality makes this so much easier, and it’s an important step before you leap into these new ventures. Because they’re big opportunities that can fall flat if they don’t feel human, authentic and brand-consistent.Stay true to your brand identity and core values when choosing who to collaborate with and your audience will embrace it.
  • 5.
    When defining your brand personality, think of it as a commitment to your company’s most authentic self.
    What are those personality traits you can commit to embody – in every single interaction, always, without fail? The idea is to create a consistent experience of the brand, because that’s where most companies fail; by trying to be everything to everyone and not being true to themselves. This kind of self examination is a lot easier with an outside moderator or expert to re-evaluate what you’re doing with a third-party perspective. A sort of “brand therapist”, helping you step away from any decisions based on competition or industry comparisons, and instead give you a fresh perspective on what makes your brand special.

About Alliance Connection:

For nearly a decade Alliance Connection has been successfully guiding marketers in the hospitality, entertainment, and retail industries through innovative marketing strategy, product development, and promotional initiatives. Alliance Connection has a proven track record of increasing profits, moving market share, and propelling business objectives forward with a simple but effective strategy to “connect, engage and close more business for our clients.” The company’s portfolio includes many of the nation’s leading companies and travel partners, such as Sony Corporation of America, Nickelodeon, All-Inclusive Hard Rock Hotels, Melia Hotels & Resorts, Karisma Hotels & Resorts, Sandals & Beaches Resorts, CMT, Wheel of Fortune and more.

About Starmark:

Starmark is a full-service marketing services company that’s project-based and powered by Agile Methodology. Their expertise shines in running large, complex marketing efforts more smoothly – projects like branding and positioning, integrated marketing campaigns, bespoke digital efforts and developing new marketing technologies.

With more than 40 years in business, Starmark is based in Fort Lauderdale, FL, and specializes in working with clients who light up the industries of travel and tourism, higher education, technology and healthcare. As a privately held, Woman-Owned Small Business, Starmark was named one of the top 10 Diversity-Owned Businesses in Florida. 

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