Your brand is what sets you apart from the competition, it’s what gives your business individuality and a chance to showcase your core values. Building a strong brand for your hotel is crucial for developing a healthy relationship with customers, it’s more than just a logo and a name. Your audience is the reason your brand exists, which is why establishing your brand is key to building a personal connection between you and your guests.
A successful brand is often viewed as one that has emerged through the barriers of modern culture, one that is innovative and exciting. Defining your hotel's brand is fundamental in getting guests to be able to identify your hotel and its image, you want it to be memorable and a place that people associate with the ideal spot to stay.
In theory, defining your brand should be one of the first steps you take as part of an effective marketing strategy, however, we understand that it’s not always the easiest and often requires time in order to perfect. To understand how your hotel should be forging the foundations of its brand, you need to establish:
- Who your audience is
- Who your competitors are
- Your hotel’s core values
- What you should steer clear of
Distinguishing your brand from the competition is key, but you can’t do this without conducting your research first. Brand identity is more than just people recognising your logo, and whilst it can be one of the very first things people notice about your brand, it’s not always what keeps them locked in as loyal customers.
How to create a memorable hotel brand
Finding your purpose
Before anything, you need to define your brand’s purpose. Your mind may turn to the first reasonable answer “to make profit”, but this is not what your brand should be based on. A strong brand identity that is built on personable and authentic values is what will, in turn, generate profit. Think of it like this: what gap did you notice in the market and what solution does your brand provide? When you think of why you created your business in the first place you can then find your brand's true purpose. Take a look at Cocomama Hotel for instance, who aim to bridge the gap between luxury hotels and affordable hostels, by bringing together the two.
As a hotel, your main focus should be your guests, which is why incorporating them in every step of your mission will help to establish a strong brand. In its mission statement, the Four Seasons Hotel states: “Our goals, beliefs and principles are the foundation of the work we do every day on behalf of our guests.” People want a brand that speaks to them, one that stands up for something. As a hotel you have the opportunity to create a community built on a goal of helping others, whether this be to provide a flawless service or offer a unique experience that’s different from the rest.
Defining your brand is the perfect moment to tell the story of your hotel. To inspire guests and form a loyal customer base you’ll need to turn to storytelling as a powerful sales technique. People are more swayed these days by a captivating story than a boring sales pitch, which is why your brand should incorporate a narrative that lures guests into staying with you. It’s not just about text in these modern times, use vivid imagery and intriguing short videos to help create a narrative that persuades and lets your personality shine. It also gives guests an insight into what they will experience from the beginning of their stay until the end.
Create a memorable logo
Your logo is an important part of making your brand recognisable. When you think of any big-name brands within society there is usually always something memorable about their logo, whether this be a symbol or letter. The colours should represent your brand perfectly, and your logo should be created with your ideal customer base in mind. Don’t forget to show your personality, whilst staying true to your brand identity. A slogan is also a great way to leave a lasting impression, as many people will recognise your hotel through a simple saying, many who may not have even stayed with you before.
Provide an excellent service
Guests appreciate a hotel that offers a service catered to them, one that tends to their needs and is there when they require help. Having a high-standard of customer service will help to develop a strong brand, one that people know they can trust. This means offering regular support with online questions, responding to queries in a timely manner, making all relevant information easily accessible to everyone and dealing with any issues promptly.
Integrating your brand
You’ve established a strong brand identity, now it’s time to roll it out into society. The first step is to hone your brand’s language and tone of voice - is it witty? Formal? How would you like customers to view you? Language plays a crucial role in this and should remain consistent throughout your brand. Once you have determined this, there are a number of techniques you can adapt to integrate your brand into the community:
Defining your hotel brand can be a lengthy process that requires a lot of thought and dedication, but if you want to create authentic, emotional connections with guests and build a recognisable brand, you need to put this time and effort in. Keep your brand consistent throughout every aspect in order to maintain its identity. Competition is rife, a strong brand will help your hotel stand out from the crowd - remember to steer away from what others are doing and focus on creating a brand that highlights your best values and offerings. Want some help with defining your brand? Get in touch with us for our expertise in branding.