Written by: Antonio Andújar
In the hotel industry there are so many brands of chains as mushrooms on a damp field. But do you really think that there are substantial differences between what you feel while you are staying at a Marriott, Hilton or Sheraton? Are there distinctive features in the branding strategy of similar hotel chains?
Legend has it that John Fareed, the internationally recognized consultant, writer and professor used ideas and innovative practices that are changing the discussion about what we call "hospitality" marketing or hospitality industry. By making a wager at a meeting with senior managers and hoteliers, he urged them to determine the differences between large hotel chains...
No need to say he won the wager. There are no significant differences between hotel chains today beyond a general class of service and rates.
Clearly we start from a base with accurate minimums. That means we are talking about hotels with a very good room service, with excellent gym facilities, swimming pools, bars, restaurants... and countless amenities. At this point, it is important customer’s loyalty? What is the difference between one chain and another?
If you look at it from the hotelier’s perspective, you know that if you have competitive prices, good facilities, good location and some sort of loyalty program, you can continue on the crest of the wave. But these are just the basic needs of the hotel business nowadays, it is not the basis for brand building. A brand by itself, does not guarantee success. You need to work the brand from a global and strategic perspective.
The brand must be a reflection of the customer. Essentially, it must answer the most important question: "Who am I when I use this product or service?".
In fact, hotels associated to brands have lately increased because, whether we like it or not, they add value to both -the hotel guests and other companies-, as long as the brand is a reputable firm, of course.
It is necessary to work the brand, and for that, you know, there are experts on the subject. Do not let luck decide the future of your business. You will find your luck by working hard, and here we are, if you wish ... working for your business future to be bright.