Signs Your Hotel Needs a Brand Makeover

By Mercedita Roxas-Murray EVP Strategy/Brand Planning & Operations, RedPeg Marketing | April 27, 2014

Hotel brand makeovers come in all different shapes and sizes, from a minor brand renovation and facelift, to a complete re-brand or change of brand. It is crucial for hotel operators and owners to understand and be able to identify the signs of when their property needs to undergo a change and what kind of change that may be.

The trends of the last decade have had a significant impact on the current transformation of the hotel industry. During the recession in the early part of the past decade several things were occurring; hotel brands allowed hotel owners that were struggling to pass on required upgrades or changes(1). Now, with the economy rebounding and in many markets "occupancy and average prices" improving, those hall passes are being taken away and brands are making it mandatory for hotel owners and operators to get their properties up to the standards of the brand.

For hotel owners, the price to do so is in some cases is so great that they are not able to and have to downgrade to a less prestigious brand(2).

A second trend is that there was a wave of hotel sales because of the economic down turn and buyers were snapping up properties. With the recent turnaround, all of those properties are starting to be developed. A recent PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) reports stated that revenue per available room is expected to jump 6 percent in 2014 industry-wide and that occupancy rates this year are expected to reach 63.2 percent, the highest level since 2006.(3) As a result hotel renovations are growing, especially for those properties in good locations and that are structurally sound(4), as well as new builds. This has created increased competition in the marketplace and lead markets like New York, Las Vegas, Orlando, and Chicago and nationwide are seeing new hotel projects on the rise.

So how can hotel owners and operators identify the signs that their property is in need of a makeover? Look at the environment, your targeted customer and your property itself.

Where Does Your Property Rank With the Competition?

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Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.