Boutique hotels can be considered the new kid on the block. Although they have existed for several decades and operate under the banner of "independent" hotels, it is only recently that the world has broken into its charm for boutique hotels.
Today, more than ever, travelers are looking beyond the usual sensations and fantasies offered for the sake of their hotel stay. They want a more intimate, more unique experience that brings them closer to the community where the hotel is located. In such a scenario, boutique hotels are in direct opposition to their stirring, empire-like counterparts – chain hotels.
But despite their overall appeal, boutique hotels have to make the same effort, and sometimes more, to establish their brand. Without a strong identity to guide them, it's all too easy to get lost in the crowd.
Brands can no longer be impersonal entities for the consumer. We live in an era of information in which the customer has access to all kinds of resources to facilitate their purchasing decision. Today, brands have their own lives and existence, and customers interact with these identities on a daily basis.
Take it. What comes to mind when someone says the word "Marriott?" Immediately create an image of something highly luxurious and luxurious. Large lobbies, gilded ceilings, to put it mildly, but extremely smart waiters, silver tarps and modern facilities. Why does your brain associate all this with one simple word?
This is the magic of a brand. And the value of building it.
Think of the concept of identity, such as your name or who you are. All those things that make you "do" are also the things that put you in pieces from the rest of humanity. The same goes for the brand. It is an entity that is different from other entities in the same industry. In business speaking, this is called differentiation.
So, what differentiates one hotel from another and why even participate in differentiation? The answers to these questions are quite simple. Danny Meyer, CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG), says "recognition" is on the main reason why guests want to return to the same hotel.
Recognition stems solely from uniqueness, and if you want to grow a battalion of loyal users, you'd better get engaged quickly. The reason boutique hotels have been on the rise over the last decade is because the modern traveler does not want the monolithic experience he will get at any typical chain hotel. They want a unique curatorial experience that they can fondly remember and if they get it, they will come back to you.
This brings us to the next aspect – what distinguishes one hotel from another? Experience is different. Everything that your guests are exposed to that they feel touched when interacting with the tangible aspects of your brand is its 'experience'.
A strong brand is one that stands completely apart from its competitors. Think about it: Thousands of others are vying for consumer attention, essentially promising essential hospitality services. Mergers and acquisitions made it even more confusing for the client today.
The world's 10 largest hotel chains now offer a combined 113 brands at various price points, 31 of which did not exist a decade ago. This makes differentiation more important. IBISWorld also nails the boutique hotel industry to $ 7 billion as of June 2017; increased at a CAGR of 4.8%.
Therefore, the essence of your brand must be different and it must be embodied in all aspects of the brand – from your design, service, logo, etc. Now let's walk you through the standard elements that make up a brand.
As things stand, the boutique hotel stands out from the rest of the hotel sector with its uniqueness, personalized service, authenticity, sophistication, aesthetic elements of surprise and enhanced customer experiences that extend beyond the hotel space.
We'll start with the basic, long-standing branding suggestions before we get specific.
logo: This is the mark and significance of your brand. This is also one of the most integral parts of the brand experience as it promotes recognition and familiarity. Good logo design is always guided by strategy, unless you want people to get the wrong message. Testing your logo before finalizing it is always a good idea.
Brand Table and Message: Build a strong line and emphasize the core attributes of your brand that you then use to add to the essence of your brand. Emphasizing this, without being too invasive, is necessary.
sieving of: The identity of your brand should be displayed in all aspects of the hotel. This distinction will come from the way you answer phone calls, to the way your staff greets people. All communication, both offline and online, must constantly display a message that contributes to the essence of the brand.
Design: This does not simply extend to logo and communication design. Of course, you need to be tailored to all your creatives and color schemes, but we also mean architectural and decor-based elements that should carry the brand identity of your shoulders.
Promise and delivery: This is probably the most important thing. While courage can in some cases be judged by capriciousness, don't promise things you can't deliver. Customers are repelled by such distant commitments. For example, if your hotel is a budget hotel, adding features that do not exist or faking pictures are extremely bad practices that you should avoid at all costs.
Boutique Hotels, Please Note …
Although branding guidelines may remain the same more or less across the board, boutique hotels may not always enjoy the flow of money that makes larger chains. But despite your limited budget, it is not advisable to compromise on your branding efforts, or you may end up in a stupid one-penny situation.
Gradually discontinue your expenses. Prioritize some branding elements over others, but do not ignore them completely. You do not have to look for the most expensive options, but you need to consider the most effective ones
Here are a few suggestions for boutique hotels to keep in mind before embarking on your branding efforts.
Don't be inconsistent, I understand that boutique hotels are related to personalization, but this can be reflected in the services you offer. The essence of the brand must be unique and enhanced as such. Too many changes to the logo and design are also an obstacle when it comes to establishing a recognizable identity.
segmentation: The best thing about boutique hotels is that it really is a place for everyone. From those looking for comfort to a healthy backpack, anyone can find what they want here. And your hotel should strongly communicate this. Customize different packages for different types of travelers – businessmen, couples, families and more. – and let this reflect your prices.
Networking: This is one of the strongest strategies for the hospitality world. The network generates more recommendations and dramatically increases legitimacy. Good, symbiotic relationships with locals and the environment will be invaluable help.
Extension of the brandA: Apart from your core services, you can outsource a little. Toiletries, cutlery, linen may be provided by others, but with the brand to your advantage. Or you can indulge in co-branding where you can get involved with spas, décor companies and so on. This not only enhances your presence but also gets you subsidized goods in the process. You can also invest in experiences outside the hotel space, such as personalized nature walks, workshops and more. However, choose your partners carefully. They should not convey messages that are contrary to the tone, nature and image of your brand.
Show restraint: Don't exaggerate or be too complicated with your communication unless the format requires it. You may have a lot to say, but consider presenting it in a way that is not always heavy text, such as videos, infographics, or newsletters.
While these are just a few suggestions when it comes to the incredibly extensive brand building field, they are an effective starting point for you. In an industry that is so full of players, brand identity and experience will be key differentiators that need careful attention and cultivation. So, start and build a brand that you will be proud of one day.