How optimising brand experience can help hotels stand out
From a twittering concierge to special suites for the tweeters or access to a free Google Glass, Edward Perry takes a look at how to drive loyalty
As a brand in the global market, we are obsessed with establishing our footprint in the hearts and minds of consumers. After all, the more that we are known and trusted, the higher the propensity of marketers to infuse the concept of loyalty into the mix to build long-term client relations. Whichever side of the fence you stand on loyalty, we recognise that it is a slow process to build, and an even more arduous task to sustain on a long-term basis.
Have you ever wondered how your marketing on a corporate scale translates into the guest experience at the property level? As marketers we hope that the brand promises we make in our outreach resonates into brand confidence that make guests long-term advocates. What if our properties took the brand promise to the next level and created experiences that further solidify the brand promise, paving the way for wider interest in the brand beyond the one property they visited? What if every property, regardless of franchise or independent status, offered one level of uniqueness that created a catalyst for positive consumer sentiment?
As hotel marketers, we live by the accuracy of our written brand promise
There are many properties that take the brand experience to the next level. One of the reoccurring instruments remains creative use of technology and social media. Worldhotels property The Manhattan Hotel Rotterdam, a five-star luxury hotel in the Netherlands, is the first property in the country with a twittering concierge. Hotel guests can ask questions via @conciergeRTM. The clincher is that this concierge service of The Manhattan is also available for non-hotel guests, thereby further enhancing the brand experience. This is a perfect example of a property that sees its place at the global table.
Another property that enhances consumer experience is Melia’s Sol Wave Hotel in Majorca, Spain. Their whole marketing approach is geared towards enhancing the guest experience through technology. Guests are encouraged to use their free social WiFi to connect to the #SocialWave experience. They even offer exclusive assistance for #TweetPartySuite guests (special suites for tweeting) and offer guest service via Twitter @SOLWAVEHOUSE and #ASKME700. In this example, technology and guest experience are conveniently packaged for seamless consumption.
Being in an unfamiliar city can be daunting, especially for overseas guests facing expensive mobile roaming costs. As such guests may have to resort to a paper map, unless you are staying at the Acme Hotel Company in Chicago. This hotel, which is part of Worldhotels, makes access to technology a cornerstone of the guest experience. Acme was the first hotel to offer Google Glass for free to their guests. Guests can design their custom high-tech exploration of Chicago. At a time when glass access still remains limited and costs are high, this property has taken steps to exceed the typical brand experience.
As hotel marketers, we live by the accuracy of our written brand promise and how we relay that promise to the look and feel of the properties in which we provide service. In an era of increased competition, it’s encouraging to see the growing number of properties that are strengthening the brand promise to reach the essence of what we do best… hospitality.
Edward Perry is Senior Director, Performance and Revenue Optimization at WorldHotels