With historically low occupancy levels—among data compiled by the American Hotel & Lodging Association, it was found that eight out of ten rooms stand empty—2020 is going in the books as hospitality’s worst year ever. This stark reality has many properties scrambling to recuperate lost revenue through knee-jerk discounting.
Unfortunately, this short-sighted approach only provides a potential fix that will result in a definite blow to long-term success. How? First, building back to profitable rates has always proven to be a long and difficult journey (remember the Great Recession?). Second, rate discounting devalues your boutique hotel’s most valuable asset—your brand.
What’s in a brand?
A brand is not just a logo, a symbol or a tagline. A brand is a living entity—a collection of perceptions and beliefs that live in the hearts and minds of your customers. By creating a relevant and resonant brand identity for your boutique hotel, you establish that all-important emotional connection between your property and your guests.
Boutique power brand
Long before there was a Kimpton nation, there were travelers passionate exclusively about its sub-brands. “Kimpton” did not exist to them. A comprehensive branding exercise determined what guests loved about their favorite hotel collection, then those characteristics were elevated to the umbrella brand. Greater than the sum of its parts, this brand reflects Kimpton’s philosophy and personality, revealing its sense of dedication to social consciousness, personalized service ethic and contemporary style—it also gave rise to a generation of fiercely loyal Kimpton devotees.
The bottom line
Most boutique property DOSMs understand the intangible benefits of effective branding—including differentiating your hotel from its competitors and providing a cohesive and seamless online to on-property guest experience. But have you considered the bottom-line bump?
When you generate widespread brand affinity, you create a powerful community of promoters who will enthusiastically recommend your hotel to family and friends as well as return to your property again and again—increasing the long-term value of each guest. Bonus: These are the brand champions who will help sustain your hotel, even through tough economic downturns.
At Dana, we’ve been successfully crafting hospitality brands for more than 40 years. If you could use a partner in strengthening your existing brand or leading the way in a complete rebrand, give Lynn Kaniper a call at 609.466.9187 ext. 117 or drop her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.