The new breed of guest has entirely different needs and demands compared to previous generations. They are more affluent and value driven, and increasingly it’s women who pay and make the spending decisions. These new travelers demand more personalized service, and have growing concerns about sustainability, health, and globalization. They are turning their backs on traditional hotel luxuries and instead seeking experiences. As well as wanting to be ‘always on’, and expecting the latest technology, they want to ‘feel connected’ – looking for uniqueness and innovation.
For hotels and resorts, whether standalone or branded, this is a challenge. Your positioning needs to acknowledge and respond to these trends. So whatever your situation: owner, investor or manager of an existing independent, standalone hotel or resort, or planning on becoming one, you should be asking some searching questions.
Can you go it alone?
Can your property and its positioning achieve your revenue and profit targets? Are you committed to creating or revamping your own unique hotel/resort personality and guest brand promise? Or are you looking to your competition, and wondering if it would make more sense to join an established hotel brand, tie in with their standards and regulations, and benefit from their vast reservation, sales, marketing and distribution power?
When assisting independent hotels and resorts with their brand positioning, I’m often asked: “How do I position an independent property cost effectively in a time of economic constraints, changing guest requirements, lifestyles and travel trends, and see a profit reasonably quickly?”
The importance of brand positioning
In brief, you need to ensure your branding and positioning is appropriate to your facilities and local environment, and that it appeals to your increasingly more demanding target market. It must be distinctly different from your competition, and able to be understood and supported by your organization.
Most important, it is imperative you think like your guests and understand the changing nature of their expectations.
We are frequently approached by hotels and resorts struggling to evaluate their brand concept and promise, and all it entails: the positioning, product, price, people and processes. We are able to bring clarity and provide answers to key questions such as those above. We can offer owners, investors and managers the expert support that will help them clearly establish their brand concept, ensure it’s viable in operation, and position the property to achieve success.
Author, Petra Deuter, is founder and owner of PD-Hospitality Consulting and Interim Management, www.pd-hospitality.com, and is an independent advisor and transition Executive who specializes in the hospitality industry, with a strong track record of growing revenues and managing strategic and operational changes. She is an expert advisor and mentor, with many years’ management experience in Europe and North and South America. Petra can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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