Hospitality is an exciting industry to be in, especially when it comes to branding. In this article, we’ll be taking you through the key factors your business needs to include in its strategy. With this foundation, you’ll build a strong brand that draws in visitors and inspires them to become avid fans.
Tourism is an important sector in many countries around the world. Some economies are reliant on it. It is also a competitive market since homeowners now have the opportunity to host people in their homes, providing an alternative to hotel stays. Worldwide lockdowns and travel restrictions have also had an impact, meaning fewer beds are being booked and people’s needs are changing.
A Guide to Hospitality Branding
Developing your brand and managing it well is crucial for hospitality businesses. It is arguably a make-or-break factor. So, how do you go about doing this? Well, even businesses that have a strong brand are having to reevaluate their strategies. Here’s what you need to consider:
Travel in the New Age
The reasons people travel have changed. Many travelers are driven by:
- Remote working opportunities, where they can visit a new country and call it home for a couple of months at a time
- Wellness retreats where there is a focus on digital detoxing and escaping work-life completely to focus on mental and spiritual wellbeing
- Once in a lifetime holidays for the whole family, where people are traveling in larger groups to meet up with relatives while aiming to seize the day
You need to cater to these desires, depending on the holiday dreams of your niche audience. You can appeal to these through your marketing campaign and entice travelers through creative social media marketing or interactive or virtual reality experiences online. Aim to inspire and transport them.
Changing Consumer Needs
People have new considerations when traveling. One example is having late check-outs, and easy, contactless check-ins. Travelers also require a higher degree of flexibility when it comes to making changes or cancellations than ever before. Your brand needs to adapt to these changes and make provisions accordingly. If you’re in a country that requires quarantine time, be sure to include offers that cater to this, for example. Moving forward, it is not so much about adapting, but about how you adopt these changes into your regular service offering.
Your Branding Story
People have a desire to connect with the brands and businesses they support. In order to make this connection, you need to develop your story and share it. Creating an authentic voice with clearly driven values, visions and missions are crucial for building brand loyalty. Whether it’s about how you started, what work you’re doing to empower the community, or the purpose your businesses seek to serve, you need to cultivate it through storytelling and weave that into all aspects of your business. Hospitality businesses should also include a localization strategy that builds a presence within their environment and community. This way, your tourists are able to enjoy a vacation while making a positive contribution through eco-tourism. It also helps to boost the traditional marketing method of word of mouth, which is still super important!
Review the Traveller Experience
Marketers are focusing on personalized communication with guests, and that needs to become part of your brand philosophy as well. Going the extra mile where possible to make your guests feel special is key. Build a relationship that extends beyond their stay, and when they arrive, you can leave a welcome message on the TV screen, for example, or providing instant messaging to people viewing your site. With more admin involved in planning a trip today, you want to ensure the experience with your brand is as seamless as possible.
Optimizing the user experience also includes having your ducks in a row online - be sure that you optimize all of your posts for SEO, have a website that is mobile-friendly, and have an updated Google Business listing.
Related: Social Media Marketing for Hotels
Supporting the Experience
It’s easy to create lust-worthy wanderlust content, especially since you don’t have products to capture in creative settings. The bonus is that when travelers visit your business, they’re often excited to share it with their family and friends online. Your brand should therefore think about the customer experience in this regard, inspiring people to take snapshots to share. Once they do, you can repurpose this content with user-generated content. Be sure to let your entire team know about this, as people will associate each encounter as part of their experience with your brand. For example, if there is an issue at a restaurant at a resort, it impacts the brand negatively. Be sure to keep your brand consistent and manage it effectively online to maintain positive perceptions. A heavy focus on service is key.
Your Hospitality Brand
Tourism brands need to differentiate themselves through experiences. By drawing your visitors in through a strong brand presence, you can set yourself apart from competitors. This includes a focus on the look and feel of your brand, keeping in mind that the details matter. For example, have a consistent color theme and font used throughout. This will help your brand become recognizable and memorable. With so many offers and alternatives to travel today, focusing on your niche is key to becoming a compelling place to visit. Beyond that, building your name to become a reputable one needs to be a primary goal.
Build Your Business’s Brand
Ready to take your hospitality brand to the next level? Speak with us at Nexa. We’ve got a team of experts and specialists in all things travel marketing, from strategy to content and everything in between.
Take a look at this video we’ve produced for one of our hospitality clients... what will yours look like?