How to make your hotel stand out from the crowd

Last year, we saw some big moves from the large international
hotel groups with mergers, acquisitions and new brands. I can’t
help but wonder how much more the brand landscape can keep growing
in this way, as the customer seeks a more personal and original
experience?

The big global hotel operators have dozens of logos across their
websites, each one pitched at a different audience, in an original
way, for a new market: a younger crowd, a mature crowd, the
discerning traveller, the upwardly mobile, global domination or
local spirit, the business road warrior, fitness and lifestyle
junkie, boutique, social, couples, groups, families, millennials
and Generation Z. You get the idea. If one brand doesn’t quite
fit the latest persona, along comes another new brand to corner the
market.

Let’s be clear, the international hotel chains have each built
fantastic platforms and infrastructure over many, many years which
give each of their brands a voice. They’ve built loyalty
initiatives with tens of millions of guests connected to a dynamic
CRM tool with points, miles and upgrades making sure they are
heard. They have built boxes in every major gateway city and
airport. They have technology budgets to make your eyes water,
developing proprietary systems for competitive advantage. They have
cool, open plan offices with hundreds of people analysing
statistics and social listening. It’s a successful formula.

The question for hotel owners and operators is, how much does
the scale development of hotel brands with monolithic systems
provide the answer of choice for the customer? It clearly works for
some, as global examples demonstrate, however you could choose to
be discovered differently rather than riding the brand
superhighway.

At Roomzzz, we’re not building a global institution, or aiming
for global domination, at least not yet. Roomzzz Aparthotels was
born 12 years ago without much of a benchmark in the UK. There was
a vision of guest experience, great design and service, with
intuition for the unfulfilled opportunity. We have a great family
history, and we’ve developed our story with real purpose. The
brand has evolved from an honest and sincere spirit of adventure.
So, what is it going to take to get yourself noticed and stand out
from the crowd?

Brands do talk, big or small. A brand is not just a hundred
hotels in ten different countries with a standard operating
procedure manual five volumes thick. Your independent, stand-alone
property can find ways to communicate in words and pictures to
truly differentiate from the crowd and carve out an identity which
will bring the customer to them.

A brand is likely to be the most complex decision, if not the
most expensive consideration you’ll have to make for a new hotel
or a re-positioned property. Joining a big brand network comes at
quite a cost to access the huge audience the groups maintain.
Alternatively, developing your own brand or identity could be a
game changer, and there are plenty of examples which stand on their
own two feet in the wonderful world of hospitality, with a unique
proposition which makes them what they are and able to drive
measurable success.

The point here is that you need to find your lane. What is it
that you do? What is it that you do that no-one else is doing? More
importantly, what do you want your guests to say about you and
remember you for? Let that drive your focus on standards and
experience. Develop a message and a story that makes sense and then
the business needs to find as many ways as it can to tell that
story, keep it fresh and build the momentum and the consistency
that enforces the brand. You may want to talk about the service
that you deliver – what makes it different?

You may want to talk about the facilities you provide and the
benefits your customer will experience? And what about the price
point, location, package or standards? Who are you trying to reach
and what should they discover about you? The best experience is all
joined up with the customer centre stage; from their booking to
arrival, throughout the stay and beyond. Let your standards, your
brand, your team and your marketing bring the whole thing together
and you’ll be one step ahead of the rest.

If you want to stand out from the crowd in 2019, you have to
make connections with your audience. Have some genuine purpose for
what you do and how you communicate. Generate a compelling story
that guests will love and feel they can experience. Big brands can
make a lot of noise, but it’s not necessarily the volume that
everyone hears. Consumers today want to hear a tune they like, a
great melody, a fantastic chorus. Your brand has the chance to sing
your own tune in today’s digital, connected world and be heard in
a very different way to the white noise and the blur of other
brands. Be sure your marketing is consistent across the multitude
of channels available now: Digital, Print, TV, Radio, Social, PR,
B2B Sales.

One last thing. Walk the talk. You think you’ve done your
part, built your business, well marketed to the world, with a
highly original, genuine and captivating experience! What else will
make the difference and get you the attention and success you
deserve? In this transparent, agile and data rich world we live in
today, customer sentiment provides true distinction. Arguably the
most important way you could make a statement about what you do is
nurturing your customers to shout about it.

There’s nothing more valuable than guests emphasising your
brand and your USP’s on social media and review sites. Reputation
is powerful. Work hard for it, celebrate success and take your team
on the journey so that it matters as much to them as it should to
you. In so doing, you’ll stand out from the crowd and truly find
your own space where success is assured.

By Robert Alley, chief operating officer at
Room
zzz Aparthotels

Source: FS – All-Hotels-Blogs
How to make your hotel stand out from the crowd