Whether your hotel is boutique, budget-conscious, business-friendly, luxury or any other type, you should know that guests are the ones who ultimately define your brand. Still, you can shape their experiences so that they’re telling the stories you want them to tell.
Your hotel will need to balance a unique selling proposition (differentiation) with the ability to evolve down the road. Here are some ideas for accomplishing this goal.
BE TRULY DIFFERENT
Hotels are commodities. If you don’t want to compete for guests solely on price, you have to create an experience that is different from your competitors. Once you decide on those factors, you can’t just say it, you have to prove it.
For example, one business hotel offers to deliver fitness equipment (e.g. exercise bike) directly to the busy guest’s room. Another hotel creates a seamless experience by having one person act as the shuttle driver, check-in person and bellhop.
Make sure to convey these unique brand experiences before (e.g. Facebook page), during (e.g. concierge) and even after (e.g. follow-up email) your guests’ stay.
Be careful not to try to please every guest type. It’s better to go deep in fulfilling the needs of 2-3 types of guest vs. being shallow in branding for 8-10 types of guest.
CREATE SHAREABLE MOMENTS
What better to authentically market your hotel than by having your customers do it for you? The idea is to use word-of-mouth marketing that focuses on “Instagrammable moments.” For instance, wouldn’t you want your guests to share a photo of that exercise bike in their own room?
Here’s another example: if one of your differentiators is having a better breakfast for guests, put something unexpected on the breakfast bar, such as hash browns in shapes formed by cookie cutters or mini-BLT sandwiches. Public areas and guest rooms should follow similar concepts. You’re basically making it hard for a guest not to take a photo or video.
You yourself also should capture these moments as photos and videos and post them on Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, etc. so that your customers can share that content even when they’re not inside your hotel.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Revelation PR, Advertising & Social Media offers hotels, B&Bs and resorts services related to media relations, community relations, branding, group sales, SEO/SEM and social media management. Please contact Brian Lee, brian [at] experiencerevelation.com or 608-622-7767.