Whether someone is traveling for business or leisure purposes, choosing which hotel to stay in is top of the priority list. They will consider several factors when making their decision including the price and the location, but another key point of comparison is the branding.
Guests may not realize that they let a feature as seemingly superficial as branding sway their decision, but when we are looking for a home from home, the “feeling” we get from a hotel stay is crucial. This means feeling comfortable, relaxed, and valued as an individual. Here are four essential branding tips for destination and hotel marketers to help you build a stellar reputation for your business.
1. Prioritize the customer experience
If your guests do not have a positive experience from the moment that they book the room to the time they check out, they are unlikely to recommend your hotel to others or stay again. To build a brand that connects with your guests, you need to be communicating with them and gathering as much feedback as possible. With their insight, you can pinpoint flaws in your service and take steps towards improvement.
You should also consider your customers’ opinions in terms of décor, the menu you offer, and the facilities you provide. Social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook can be great tools for customer feedback, but customer relationship management software or CRM for hotels will enable you to improve the customer experience and nurture relationships.
2. Be transparent
Our society has become hyperaware of the fact that not all information they see on the internet can be trusted, and this has impacted the way we interact with brands. We often start from a position of mistrust and are quick to call out companies that misrepresent themselves.
The widespread use of social media and review websites now also means that negative reviews can appear out of the blue and are a constant threat to hospitality businesses. You need to be upfront and transparent about the type of experience you are offering. If you are a small hotel offering clean, budget-friendly rooms for short stays, make this clear in your branding, as positioning yourself as a luxury boutique hotel will only lead to complaints and questions about your pricing.
3. Choose a theme, and commit
Hotels are notorious for poor interior design and mismatched color schemes. This will not only look unattractive and be unappealing to guests, but can also prevent them from understanding (and therefore connecting with) the brand. Choose a visual identity for your brand and ensure that it is consistent throughout the hotel. This might be inspired by the building’s history or architecture, your location, or a novelty theme that will be memorable to guests. Remember, guests like to share photos of their hotel rooms on social media when they find themselves somewhere beautiful or quirky, so do not underestimate the value of interior design when branding.
4. Connect the hotel with its location
When we travel to a new place, we are looking for new experiences. Staying in a hotel that is part of an international chain means you get a uniform aesthetic and standardized facilities, so you could be staying anywhere in the world. Independent hoteliers have the freedom to create an experience that is true to its location and the history of the area. Make your hotel a unique experience they cannot get anywhere else and guests will shout about their stay to others and book again in the future.