Beyond Design: Why Understanding Your Client’s Industry Matters

May 24, 2023
Jeremy Wells

At Longitude, we pride ourselves on being a design and branding agency that specializes in the hospitality, hotel, travel, and tourism sectors. We believe that in order to deliver exceptional results for our clients, we must have an intimate understanding of their industry. Why? Because understanding our client’s industry is not just important; it’s crucial to our success.

Over the years, Longitude has established itself as a leading voice in the hospitality industry. We have immersed ourselves in this vibrant world, actively engaging with industry experts, organizations, and thought leaders. Our commitment to understanding the intricacies of hospitality, branding, and guest experience has propelled us to create valuable content, resources, and advisory roles for various organizations.

Our industry book, “Future Hospitality,” stands as a testament to our dedication. We’ve delved into the depths of hospitality, exploring the intersection of branding and guest experience, and offering insights and strategies for the evolving landscape. We believe in sharing knowledge and empowering others to thrive in this industry we hold dear.

In addition to our written contributions, we have taken to the airwaves with our podcast. We invite industry leaders to join us in thought-provoking conversations, sharing their expertise, and challenging conventional wisdom. Through these conversations, we continuously strive to be at the forefront of industry trends, bringing fresh perspectives to our clients and partners.

But our commitment to the industry doesn’t stop there. In a bold move that sets us apart, Longitude has ventured into the world of hotel ownership and management. Teaming up with Eagle Point Hotel Partners, we have acquired, developed, and launched our own boutique hotel brand: The Ozarker Lodge in Branson, MO. This 102-room haven nestled in the heart of the Ozarks is not just a testament to our expertise but also a living laboratory where we experiment with new ideas and refine our craft.

Our relentless pursuit of industry knowledge and experience stems from our unwavering belief that understanding our client’s industry better than they do is the cornerstone of our success. We know that to truly serve our clients, we must immerse ourselves in their world, speak their language, and anticipate their needs. Our commitment to understanding the hospitality, hotel, travel, and tourism industries drives us to deliver exceptional results for our clients and sets us apart as a trusted partner.

In this blog series, we will explore why understanding your client’s industry is crucial for design and branding agencies like ours. We’ll delve into the benefits it brings, the unique advantages it provides, and how it propels us to create meaningful and impactful solutions. Join us as we uncover the secrets behind our industry expertise and learn how it can revolutionize your brand’s journey. Together, let’s shape the future of hospitality, one remarkable brand at a time.

Serving Clients Better

Deep industry knowledge empowers agencies to go beyond surface-level solutions. By immersing ourselves in the hospitality, hotel, travel, and tourism sectors, we gain a comprehensive understanding of the unique challenges, trends, and opportunities that exist within these industries. Armed with this knowledge, we can develop strategies that are not only innovative but also rooted in industry-specific insights. This enables us to deliver tailored solutions that address the specific needs and aspirations of our clients.

The hospitality industry landscape is ever-evolving, and industry-specific challenges and trends play a significant role in shaping the success of our clients. By understanding these nuances, we can adapt our strategies accordingly. For instance, in the hospitality industry, customer expectations and preferences are constantly changing, and staying ahead of the curve requires a deep understanding of the industry’s pulse. With this knowledge, we can help our clients navigate challenges such as enhancing guest experiences, adapting products or programming, or capitalizing on emerging market trends. By aligning our strategies with industry-specific challenges and trends, we ensure that our client’s brands remain relevant, competitive, and poised for growth.

Finally,  when you have deep industry knowledge, that translates into client satisfaction and long-term relationships built on trust and mutual understanding. When agencies demonstrate a profound understanding of their clients’ industries, it fosters a sense of confidence and reassurance. Clients feel heard, valued, and understood, knowing that their agency partner is well-versed in the intricacies of their business landscape. This understanding allows us to proactively anticipate our clients’ needs, identify opportunities, and offer relevant solutions that align with their business goals. The result is a stronger partnership, increased client satisfaction, and a higher likelihood of long-term collaborations.

Understanding Client Priorities

By immersing ourselves in the client’s industry, we gain insights into their business priorities and objectives. This understanding enables us to align our goals with theirs, creating a harmonious partnership centered around shared objectives. We can identify the key drivers of success within the industry and strategically position our clients’ brands to capitalize on them. Whether it’s driving revenue growth, increasing brand recognition, or enhancing customer loyalty, understanding the client’s industry allows us to develop strategies that align with their business priorities, leading to more impactful and successful outcomes.

Deep industry knowledge empowers us to anticipate our clients’ needs and expectations. By staying up-to-date with industry-specific trends, consumer behavior, and market dynamics, we can proactively identify emerging opportunities and potential challenges. This allows us to offer timely recommendations and solutions, demonstrating our commitment to our clients’ success. By understanding the nuances of their industry, we become strategic partners who can foresee potential roadblocks and guide our clients toward sustainable growth and competitive advantage.

A fundamental aspect of any design and branding agency’s work is connecting the client’s brand with their target audience. Understanding the client’s industry is essential in comprehending the nuances of their target audience’s preferences, behaviors, and aspirations. By analyzing market dynamics and industry-specific factors, we can tailor our strategies to resonate deeply with the intended audience. This understanding allows us to craft compelling brand stories, design captivating experiences, and create meaningful connections that drive engagement, loyalty, and ultimately, business success.

Gaining a Competitive Edge

Generalist agencies may offer a broad range of services, but they lack the deep industry knowledge and specialized expertise that a focused agency like Longitude brings to the table. By honing in on the hospitality, hotel, travel, and tourism sectors, we position ourselves as experts in a niche market. This specialization allows us to understand the industry’s unique dynamics, challenges, and trends, giving us a competitive advantage over generalist competitors. Clients are more likely to choose an agency that demonstrates a deep understanding of their industry, as they value the strategic insights and tailored solutions that come with specialized expertise.

At Longitude, our unwavering focus on the hospitality, hotel, travel, and tourism sectors has allowed us to become industry leaders. By immersing ourselves in this vibrant world, we have gained extensive knowledge and experience that enables us to deliver exceptional results. This positioning as a specialized expert sets us apart from agencies that lack a deep understanding of these industries. Clients seeking design and branding solutions within the hospitality sector can confidently turn to Longitude, knowing that they are partnering with an agency that intimately understands their unique challenges, customer expectations, and business priorities.

When agencies demonstrate a profound understanding of their client’s industry, they earn increased credibility and trust. Clients within the hospitality, hotel, travel, and tourism sectors gravitate toward agencies like Longitude because they recognize that our expertise goes beyond surface-level strategies. By speaking their language and understanding their pain points, we establish a rapport based on trust and credibility. This trust empowers us to engage in more meaningful conversations, provide expert advice, and make decisions that positively impact our clients’ brands and bottom lines. When clients trust our industry expertise, they are more likely to choose us as their long-term strategic partners.

Creating Relevant and Effective Content

One of the significant advantages that design and branding agencies gain from understanding their client’s industry is the ability to create and publish thoughtful content and industry-specific resources. This goes beyond mere marketing material; it is about providing valuable insights, addressing precise industry challenges, and resonating with the target audience. 

Understanding the intricacies of the client’s industry allows agencies to create content that truly resonates with the target audience. By immersing ourselves in the hospitality, hotel, travel, and tourism sectors, we gain profound insights into the desires, aspirations, and pain points of the industry’s stakeholders. This knowledge empowers us to craft content that speaks directly to their needs, interests, and aspirations. When the content we create strikes a chord with the target audience, it not only positions us as industry experts but also draws more clients to our doorstep.

Industry-specific knowledge enables agencies to address the precise challenges faced by their clients. Instead of offering generic advice, we can delve into the specific pain points and hurdles that are unique to the hospitality, hotel, travel, and tourism sectors. By thoroughly understanding these challenges, we can provide targeted solutions and strategies that resonate with the industry’s stakeholders. This level of expertise and tailored guidance sets us apart from agencies that lack deep industry knowledge, and positions us as trusted advisors capable of making a meaningful impact on our clients’ businesses.

Thoughtful and industry-specific content has the power to drive engagement, build brand loyalty, and capture the attention of potential clients. When agencies demonstrate their expertise through valuable resources, such as industry reports, whitepapers, case studies, or educational articles, they establish themselves as credible sources of information. This content not only attracts the target audience but also positions the agency as a trusted partner. It fosters a sense of loyalty and affinity, as clients and prospects recognize the agency’s commitment to their industry’s success. By consistently delivering high-quality content that addresses their industry’s challenges and provides valuable insights, agencies can capture the attention of potential clients, earn their trust, and establish long-term relationships.

In Closing

Understanding your client’s industry is not just an option but a crucial factor for design and branding agencies seeking to thrive in today’s competitive landscape. It is the foundation upon which exceptional service, competitive advantage, and enduring client relationships are built. Deep industry knowledge empowers agencies to serve clients effectively, stand out from the competition, and earn the trust and business of industry stakeholders.

By understanding the client’s industry better than anyone else, agencies can provide more effective solutions that address specific industry challenges and align with client objectives. This expertise sets them apart from generalist competitors and positions them as specialized experts in their clients’ sectors. With increased credibility and trust, agencies become trusted advisors, forming long-term partnerships with clients who appreciate their industry-specific insights and tailored strategies.

Moreover, deep industry knowledge enables agencies to create thoughtful content and industry-specific resources that resonate with the target audience. This content not only attracts clients but also drives engagement, brand loyalty, and attention. By investing time and effort into understanding the client’s industry better than their clients do, agencies unlock a world of opportunities to make a meaningful impact, drive growth, and shape the success of their clients’ brands.

So, I encourage all design and branding agencies to prioritize understanding their client’s industry. Invest the time and effort required to gain deep industry knowledge and insights. Immerse yourselves in the challenges, trends, and aspirations of the industry you serve. By doing so, you will position yourselves as industry experts, deliver exceptional value, and become trusted partners in your clients’ journey toward success.

Remember, it is not just about providing design and branding services—it is about understanding the industry better than your clients do and utilizing that knowledge to make a lasting impact. When you embrace this mindset, you transform from being a service provider to a strategic partner, and that is where true success lies. 

Jeremy Wells

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.