Achieving Global Hotel Brand Ascension: Marketing Assets to Consider
By Grainne Maycock Vice President Sales, Sajan, Inc. | November 2014
Winning guest loyalty is not an easy proposition. Yet as we march forward into the future, we do have more insight into the qualities that global brands need to embody in order to gain our customers' trust. According to a recent trends report by InterContinental Hotels Group, 56 percent of travelers surveyed said they expect a hotel to tailor the experience they have to their personal needs. It boils down to creating a global yet local and personalized experience. A big part of that is cultivating a global hotel brand that trumpets out a consistent message, albeit tailored to each locale, across its target regions.
To grow your brand's prominence on an international scale, you also need to consider all of the key elements that will require market adaptation. These include your hotel website, marketing campaigns, logo and tagline, colors, visuals and language. As you take steps to launch your hotel brand successfully in new regions-and gain guests' trust and loyalty-you need to tailor each of these aspects appropriately.
Adapt Your Hotel Website Wisely
To engage current and prospective guests in your key markets, translate your biggest global asset: your hotel website. Consider working with a translation provider to add new languages and create an online experience that's catered to each audience's cultural expectations. Language translation is just one piece of the picture. All of your website design aspects-from layout to color to images and more-should be culturally adapted with care. It is important to understand what each audience expects when they access a website or app. People in some countries (like Japan and Greece) typically prefer more images over text, while others (such as inhabitants of Scandinavian nations) tend to like the opposite.
Before you dive into adapting your website for new markets, consider various forms of testing to look for any bugs and see if your site is ready for translation. In addition to the translation itself, a translation provider can perform certain tests to ensure your localization process goes smoothly. Testing benefits you a great deal in your marketing efforts because the earlier you pin down localization challenges, the faster and less costly it will be to address and fix them. For example, you can see if a button doesn't contain enough space to accommodate the German translation of the words "Check room availability." It also ensures your website management system supports non-English scripts, currencies or other features specific to a given target market.
It's important to involve all relevant stakeholders as you prepare. For a website localization project, plan to talk to a diverse set of resources including corporate marketing (overall brand) as well as regional marketing representatives (locale expertise). Defining a strategy to bring these resources together on the front of the process will help ensure success.