The Black Hole of Hotel Branding

By Naseem Javed Founder, ABC Namebank International | May 19, 2010

The term "Le Branding" started out in the Dark Ages, where marks were burned onto cattle. On ever-so-slowly-evolving minds of the Homo sapiens this word also made a solid impression and provides a daily dose of comfort. Belonging to a product and a brand name, offering taste and vanity offers a security blanket. A warm fuzzy feeling when a huge name is printed on the chest. The mind and body just craves to carry something with a logo, color and stripes, wear anything as long as it's identifiable, get tattooed with names or razor lines on skinned heads or name babies after brand names. "Hey Rolex, come to mama and play with Infinity." The hungry souls want something, just about anything, as long as it is a name, one could brag or chat about. Companies created great items and developed great name identities. The businesses were delighted and supported artificial shortages, presented addictive designing while pricing them very high, all as qualifiers to make a real expensive brand. It was wonderful. Everyone contended. Everyone became a brand carrier, infesting the herds and paying dearly.

Three Major Branding Eras

1) Starting The Romancing Age

In the earlier days, great new products were created leading to powerful marketing and branding strategies. Everything required distinct packaging, colorful logo-design and a solid name. Mass promotion at any cost was a must. The creation of frenzy was the rule and watching the consumers drool during the hype was the norm. It really worked.

2) Leaving The Coercing Age

Later, when the dilution factor kicked in and thousands of new copycat brand names flooded the markets, it forced new twists and required new methods of persuasion. This time, strange and crazy gimmicks became the standard while customers started getting fussy, and became wolves in sheep's clothing. Branding became a serious challenge, partially for lack of originality of the products wrapped with ineffective blitz advertising and missing of unique brand name identity.

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Coming up in March 2019...

Human Resources: An Era of Transition

Traditionally, the human resource department administers five key areas within a hotel operation - compliance, compensation and benefits, organizational dynamics, selection and retention, and training and development. However, HR professionals are also presently involved in culture-building activities, as well as implementing new employee on-boarding practices and engagement initiatives. As a result, HR professionals have been elevated to senior leadership status, creating value and profit within their organization. Still, they continue to face some intractable issues, including a shrinking talent pool and the need to recruit top-notch employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service. In order to attract top-tier talent, one option is to take advantage of recruitment opportunities offered through colleges and universities, especially if they have a hospitality major. This pool of prospective employees is likely to be better educated and more enthusiastic than walk-in hires. Also, once hired, there could be additional training and development opportunities that stem from an association with a college or university. Continuing education courses, business conferences, seminars and online instruction - all can be a valuable source of employee development opportunities. In addition to meeting recruitment demands in the present, HR professionals must also be forward-thinking, anticipating the skills that will be needed in the future to meet guest expectations. One such skill that is becoming increasingly valued is “resilience”, the ability to “go with the flow” and not become overwhelmed by the disruptive influences  of change and reinvention. In an era of transition—new technologies, expanding markets, consolidation of brands and businesses, and modifications in people's values and lifestyles - the capacity to remain flexible, nimble and resilient is a valuable skill to possess. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the strategies that HR professionals are employing to ensure that their hotel operations continue to thrive.