The independent hotel industry caters to the authentic and original. With the proliferation of hard brand’s “soft brands” and when every hotel is promoting itself as “unique”, it’s easy to get lost in the crowd.
So how does one independent hotel stick out from the rest?
Independent hotel brand building is essential for distinguishing your hotel from all the others. Also, because travelers have different needs, developing an identity for hotel marketing strategy is a must for targeting specific clients and encouraging guest loyalty.
Independent hotels may find the branding process daunting. Without large funds, fully staffed advertising teams and corporate plans, how do independent hotels succeed at brand identity? With these 4 steps, independent hotels will find success in brand building and creating an authentic culture for their hotel marketing strategy.
4 Steps to Building an Independent Hotel Brand:
- Figure out who you are. It all starts with a story. Begin with your backstory and then extend that into a distinct independent hotel brand personality with clear values, purpose, and messaging. Decide what you want your independent hotel to represent, and the type of clients you want to reach. Use these target niche markets to channel and develop your brand.
- Key message development. Use your backstory to select keywords you want to define your independent hotel brand, and you want associated with your brand. Use key phrases in your content marketing content. Create hashtags around your key messaging. Train company employees on to implement these key messages.
- Effective public relations and marketing. This begins by narrowing down your target consumer or client. Market to the areas and platforms they are most active on. Seeking millennial travelers? Engage on Instagram and Twitter. Seeking new B2B clients? Use your convenience zone, LinkedIn, traditional marketing and strategic press releases. By targeting your niche market with your key message development you will ensure brand awareness for your independent hotel. See IBC’s hotel soft brand benefits for great marketing options.
- Be consistent. Don’t start without finishing. Creating brand awareness and building an authentic brand culture takes time. Be consistent with your marketing approaches, and key message implementation. Be diligent in your efforts to instill company values across all locations, employees and platforms. The effort and the time will pay off.
Independent hotels have a creative and personalized advantage that chain and branded hotels don’t. Every independent hotel owner has a story, a reason they wanted to create a boutique hotel, and every independent hotel owner has the opportunity to craft that story into their personal brand.
In conclusion, creating an authentic culture is essential for hotel brand survival. Be true to what you promote, believe in your hotel message, and be passionate about the experience you create for travelers.
The travel industry is changing. It’s no longer enough to provide a clean room, Wi-Fi and breakfast. Travelers want an experience, and experience starts with an authentic independent hotel brand.