Written by: Cristina García
You cannot put the cart before the horse. That you know. And today without laying the foundations of who you are and who you want to become, considering how you want to get there, you could not achieve your goals. Your hotel’ corporate identity built by your branding strategy is its calling card, that will help to shape the image consumers will have. And it is not only important that you consider it for your potential customers; but also for your employees. Why?
Because your potential guests (also known as buyer personas) will always ask for more. Even though they would book through an OTA or traditional agency, they would like to have a prior opinion of your hotel image.
Because your employees are your best promoters. A satisfied worker in his work environment says a lot about your hotel’s values, and that helps strengthen the image your guests have.
In short, your corporate identity is your visual, emotional and communicative identity. That is, the base that will position its image in the tourism sector. It is therefore important to consider not only an aesthetic according to your hotel, but all the intangible features your brand is too. And in order to help you, we have designed for you the DDC strategy to create your hotel’s corporate identity.
The DDC strategy is divided into three sections corresponding to the acronym: definition - differentiation - communication. Today we show you the steps you must follow to build it:
It will mark your hotel’s strategic positioning, the attributes of its products, even its employees’ sense of belonging. To define your hotel, you must include:
Your naming. Choosing the name is not simple. Look for an appealing, suggestive and evocative name without negative connotations, that is also easily pronounceable and exportable to other countries. Think that you have to register it and create of your hotel website.
Your visual identity. Symbols, letters, colors... that visually identify your hotel and their application in all kinds of graphic media. Note that your designers should summarize all its characteristics in specific manuals.
Your tagline. Think of a text message, about four or five words long, that is witty and can portray your hotel. The tagline, which normally accompanies the logo, is a more complex element than it seems.
Market situation. Specify current market situation you’re going to address. And specify who your potential customers are. Remember that your hotel must meet the needs of these ideals guests.
Description. Define the structure of your hotel and how it works. The number of workers, their hierarchy, the intention of the business model...
Projection. If it is a newly created hotel, you need to elaborate more on the objectives or goals that it has long-term.
Business lines or sub-brands. Define and differentiates each brand and sub-brands of your chain, if it is the case.
The team. Describe what you expect from your employees. Hierarchization, methodology and philosophy.
The big competition in the tourism sector is one of the hotels major problems. Not all chains have the same economic engine. For that reason, today, you must concrete more and ensure that your brand’s identity will differentiate you and allow your ideal clients to identify your hotel properly. Differentiation is what will make your hotel stand out from the competition and make it unique and unrepeatable. Concrete:
Its mission. Point out the priorities and the products and services you will offer to your hotel customers. Your hotel’s mission is the aim to achieve its vision.
Its vision. Define what you want your hotel to become in the future. It is the concept that will allow you to address its development.
Its values. Include the ethical pillars on which rests your hotel. These values are part of the emotional features that will eventually attract your potential guests.
Social and environmental responsibility. Explain your hotel’s social and environmental concerns related to its management.
Its Key Selling Points. Based on your hotel’s differentiating aspects, determine which features you want to highlight. Emphasizes with particular interest your more competitive products.
It is the specification of the style, which must be consistent in all steps previously concretized. Hotel communication is critical to project its corporate identity outside. To do this you need to define:
Its corporate image. Focus on how your hotel’s brand and its features are psychologically conceived. In short, your corporate image is how consumers will see your hotel’s corporate identity. Therefore, make sure you know what your positioning.
Its style. Explain whether your hotel’s positioning of is casual or formal, relaxed or serious. It is thus essential that you consider your ideal clients, since your message is heading to them.
As you have seen the lines separating your hotel’s definition, differentiation and communication are somewhat blurred. It is beacuse the DDC strategy combines the different characteristics of your hotel’s corporate identity and its image. And although we want to categorize them, ultimately they all have the same purpose. Every single one is necessary to lay the foundations of your hotel’s identity.