Before Marketing Your Hotel, Focus on Branding
January 2, 2023
As a hotel owner or manager, you likely already know that the hospitality industry is highly competitive. With so many options available to travelers, it’s absolutely crucial that you find a way to differentiate your property from the competition. In our experience, one of the most effective ways to do this is through strong, thoughtful branding.
But what exactly is branding, and why is it so important for successfully marketing your hotel?
At its core, branding is the practice of creating a unique identity for your hotel. It’s about establishing a clear and consistent message about what your property stands for and communicating that message to your target audience.
Effective branding can help you attract the right guests, boost customer loyalty, and differentiate your property from the competition. It can also increase the value of your hotel, as a strong brand is a valuable asset that can be leveraged in marketing efforts and negotiations with partners.
So, how can you create a strong brand for your hotel? Here are some tips to get you started:
Define Your Brand Identity
Start by identifying the unique qualities that set your hotel apart from others in your market. What makes your property special? What type of experience do you want to offer your guests? What are your guiding principles or core values that direct your decisions? Your answers to these questions will help you define your brand identity and create a clear message for your target audience.
Build a Consistent Visual Identity
Your brand should be reflected in everything from your logo and website design to your signage and employee uniforms. Choose colors, fonts, and imagery that align with your brand identity and use them consistently across all marketing materials.
The importance of this step is often disregarded and devalued. A truly impactful brand identity often requires a bit of investment with a branding agency with experience and expertise in the industry. On several occasions, our team at Longitude has been hired to fix broken visual identity systems that our client’s received from “cheaper” options.
Don’t skimp on this step, many hoteliers regret it.
Tell a Compelling Story
A strong brand is built on a compelling narrative. Think about the history of your property, the local community, and the unique experiences you offer. Use these elements to create a story that resonates with your target audience and sets your hotel apart.
Foster Customer Loyalty
A strong brand can help you build loyalty among your guests. Offer excellent service, create personalized experiences, and consistently deliver on your brand promise to encourage repeat business.
Use Social Media to Your Advantage
Social media is a powerful tool for building and promoting your brand. Use platforms like Instagram and Facebook to showcase the unique aspects of your hotel and connect with guests. Spend time understanding your guests, which platforms they’re spending the most time on, and how you can create interesting content that will draw them in.
Collaborate with Local Businesses and Organizations
Partnering with local businesses and organizations can help you tap into new audiences and add value to your guests’ experiences. Consider partnering with nearby attractions, restaurants, and other businesses to create package deals and cross-promote each other’s services.
Engage with Your Audience
Building a strong brand isn’t a one-time effort – it requires ongoing engagement with your audience. Respond to reviews, answer questions, and listen to feedback to continually improve the guest experience and strengthen your brand.
By following these tips, you can create a strong brand for your hotel and stand out in a crowded market. Remember, branding is about more than just your logo or website design – it’s about creating a unique and consistent experience for your guests. By clearly defining your brand identity and consistently delivering on your brand promise, you can attract the right guests, boost customer loyalty, and differentiate your property from the competition.
Partner at Longitude°
Jeremy is the author of Future Hospitality and Brand Strategist at Longitude°. As a member of the Education Committee for The Boutique & Lifestyle Leaders Association (BLLA) and a content contributor to Cornell University’s Hospitality Vision and Concept Design graduate program, he is a committed thought leader in hotel branding, concepting, and experience strategy.