Hotel Branding Part 1 is available here
Brand Image and Hotel Branding
The brand image is the actual logo and slogan that quickly communicates what company is being portrayed. To maintain a strong consistency in your hotel branding a brand style guide is needed. The brand style guide is a collection of both rules for its use and details about the image. The image includes the logo, color, fonts, and background. Think of it as a recipe in a cookbook.
Brand Character and Hotel Branding
The Brand Character is a deep set of values and beliefs that are unchanging regardless of circumstances. Included within this component you can also find the Brand Promise. What kind of promises is your hotel making? Is your company willing to make an unhappy guest feel valued, to what degree? The Loews Hotels promise to Event planners that if they were unhappy with their group experience that they could call the COO directly. Hotel Branding and the brand promise will only be believable and therefore only relevant if they are genuine because it is when they are sincere that they will be implemented. Hotel Branding that creates a brand character rather than reflects its true character will have more service failures because of missed expectations and service gaps.
Brand Personality and Hotel Branding
Every hotel has a personality and each one is a little unique because each hotel has different people working at it. However, the overall culture must be consistent. If you think of your brand culture as a family you will be able to better manage it and the idiosyncrasies that are within them. For example, you may have an uncle who always telling jokes or your grandmother who makes the best cookies. Hotel branding understands that although you are all related there are some differences within the family. This makes the hotel branding consistent and unique across properties at the same time. If you have a single property your hotel branding needs to the different amenities at your property but be consistent overall. If you are leasing space out to restaurants this is a way to help you decide if they will be a good fit for your property.
Brand Essence and Hotel Branding
The brand essence is how all of the hotel branding components are combined. The essence gives more weight to various aspects than others. For example, all brands should have a brand promise but for some this promise becomes the way that they position themselves. Thinking about the family example again if you only had a minute to introduce your entire family what would you say?
Guest Perception and Hotel Branding
Guest perception can be greatly influenced by external forces a primary force being competition. These external forces directly impact your hotel branding strategy. Competition is not the only external force, however. An acronym that marketers use to help identify external forces is P.E.S.T.L.E which stands for Political, Environmental, Social, Technological, Legal, and Economical.
As the world continues to get smaller and viruses can be shared so much quicker understanding the government’s role and preventative measures can save your brand or cost you a bundle. Hilton has closed nearly 150 hotels, totaling about 33,000 rooms, in China as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. Wyndham Hotels and Resorts has closed about 70% of its hotels in China. The Holiday Inn at the Heathrow airport has become a designated quarantine facility by the government for those with or at high risk of having the Coronavirus. The hotel will have to be careful in how their hotel branding is impacted after being a quarantine facility and the quarantine has been lifted.
As vacation rental properties continue to increase an aspect that can be leveraged in their hotel branding that a vacation rental property cannot is the hotels’ common areas and ability to meet others and increase the richness of their experience by meeting people at the hotel. Hotel branding can also share a sense of history that newly built homes or condo can’t. Being part of the local history is a great way for the hotel brand to stand out or reintroduce themselves to the travel market. Especially if this aspect of the property has been overlooked. If the hotel is a new build your hotel branding can communicate how it is the right place to meet the needs of the changing needs and demands of the community.
In Singapore Tourism Board has been working to increase productivity within hotels by leveraging technology and is using facial recognition technology to authenticate guests’ identification. Here we can see how the intertwining of both technology an external force and a hospitality marketing mix element of productivity can impact hotel branding. For the hotels that are implementing these new technologies which require working with the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) we can see how a hotel can be impacted.
If a guest that is looking for extreme privacy and doesn’t want the government aware of their coming and going would avoid this hotel, and so hotel branding could incorporate this into their messaging and brand promise about guest confidentiality. However, a guest that is looking for greater efficiency and has already just come through customs may prefer the quicker check-in after a long flight. How the guest perceives the changes will be a key indicator of what they think about the brand and the direction that it is going as well the possibility of returning to the hotel.
While an activity may be legal it may not be ethical or perceived well in various supply markets. Consider what hotel branding message you are sending to what target audiences. It is important to remember that when a guest arrives from an area where values are different that communication on the property is still in line with what the guest was expecting. Brand integrity will be at stake here and needs to be partly integrated into your overall hotel branding strategy.
Economic recessions can undo all the hard work that goes into hotel branding. In recessions, the staff is often reduced and service levels can suffer. Having a plan to be able to maintain your hotel branding standards is important. Having a plan that supports the brands’ ability to maintain staff is also important in the long run and having a long term perspective is a must because of the large capital requirements and timeline to see ROI on a property.
It can be more damaging to have to lay off staff than reduce hours across the board. This will help the brand emerge from an economic situation stronger and more cost-effectively as well as corporate knowledge will be maintained. Hiring and training costs will also be lower if the staff is maintained during economic downturns. This approach will also help the hotel to scale faster to meet rising demand as the economic cycle returns to the growth stage.
Hotel Branding when you may need to consider rebranding
A significant change in one or more of these aspects can impact the hotel branding and create a situation that requires rebranding.
Nicholls Hospitality Marketing specializes in helping hotels with their branding strategy if you would like to have a conversation to see how we can help please contact us we would be happy to help you with your hotel branding.