Library Archives

 
Naseem Javed

In today's e-commerce age, where everyone is forced to type and to remember names with absolutely correct spellings, companies with big branding campaigns only hurt themselves with their old-fashioned, painted, colorful advice. They must all reconverge and regroup and realign their thinking to cope with today's name-driven economy. Contrary to branding beliefs, customers don't really care about, and are completely oblivious to, a corporation's image being tied to a very specific color. Meanwhile, trying to use a color for corporate identity can actually lead to trouble. For example, Orange Mobility, a British mobile phone company of France Telecom, is one of the largest telephone players in Europe. Just to make its point, as a gimmick, the company painted an entire town in England orange. Now, Orange Mobility, fully drenched in the color orange, is asking courts to disallow Easymobile, a new mobility service, the use of the color. Read on...

Naseem Javed

Corporate identity and image design rules of the past are gone and so are the principles of old-fashioned mass marketing blitzes. What is now new is to aim for the targeted areas with powerful, unique global name identities and apply the latest of cyber-branding skills. The laws of e-commerce and Internet marketing are just the right steps in the right direction. Every hour there are new changes to our old ways of thinking about traditional marketing rules. While we are all very deep into e-commerce, we must be aware of whether we are either already very successful or still learning the processes. Here are some cutting-edge rules to ensure good returns on e-commerce and Internet marketing. Read on...

Edward Donaldson

In this day and age of ensuring your identity is recognized by consumers, the question will inevitably be raised; do you or do you not need a brand? Are there values and a return on the investments or can you make it on your own? With the availability of information at everyone's fingertips and a plethora of choices available for consumers to buy a product, how can anyone ensure that the bases have all been covered? The larger question of critical importance today, however, is the relationship of brand value. In reality, consumers value branded companies. A walk through any major shopping area will prove this. Brands deliver major impact to a business as they will most often bring loyal customers with previous positive experiences. For independent hoteliers, this can make a huge difference to being successful or not when competing in a market place. Read on...

Naseem Javed

The word "branding" is dangerously overused. Many people use branding as a cure for all kinds of problems in all kinds of businesses. To lay claim to a deeper understanding of this elementary word, branding agencies all over the world have developed some cute variations of it, from "emotional branding" to "primal," "sensory," "musical," "internal," "external," "holistic," "vertical," "abstract," "nervous" and all the way to "invisible" branding. However, to see these distinctions, you will need special 3D spectacles. The list of branding types is almost like the three MIT wizards who took an academic conference for a ride by submitting a paper in all fake jargon: "Rooter: A Methodology for the Typical Unification of Access Points and Redundancy." Their paper was accepted. Read on...

Johnna Freud

Why are hotel loyalty programs important to consumers? What do travelers want from them? How do they affect consumers' decisions about where to stay? How do you attract target market consumers' attention to your program? Qualitative research, primarily through focus groups, can provide answers to these questions. Read on...

Gary Leopold

We live in a world that's all about image. Where people make snap judgments and buying decisions based solely on the way something looks. Putting on a good face is no longer a figurative imperative, it's a literal one. Consumers are bombarded by over 3000 marketing and advertising messages per day and everyone is competing to be noticed in a world that's increasingly built around sound bites and brief flashes of photography and video tantalizingly sliced to capture your attention. If you believe "a picture is worth a thousand words" then you can only imagine how exponentially more valuable a really great picture is worth, especially as you think about a networked society that's taking these images and effortlessly distributing them to every corner of the world and sharing them on mediums ranging from computers to PDA's to phones. How you depict your hotel has never been more critical and the role that photography plays has never been more important. Read on...

Gary Leopold

To consistently get great work from your ad agency you need to understand how to be a great client. It's not about giving in to your agency--rather it's about giving them the direction, feedback and opportunities to become one of your hotels most valued partners. Read on...

Michael J. Cheatham

Let's assume for a moment that every person in hospitality sales knows the importance of qualifying prospects, knows how to develop an effective opening, understands how belief in their product helps them to exude confidence, knows that to close the sale you must ask for the sale, and that service after the sale is as important as the sale itself. While we're at it, let's just assume that everyone has read those endless lists of "sales tips" written on how to become an effective salesperson. If we assume that colleges and universities are adequately training sales people, why is it that all new hires are not excellent sales people from the get-go? Further, with all the professional development opportunities available, shouldn't there be armies of effective sales people and no shortage of great candidates for those looking to hire? So, what is missing? What sets excellent sales people apart from the plebeian masses? Read on...

Debbie Bermont

Do you struggle to keep your office organized? Do you keep current with your business communications? Do you let e-mails sit in your in-box for days on end? If you've ever had a challenge achieving a goal in the past it could be because you didn't attempt to achieve the goal from the right mindset. Everyone knows that if you want to achieve a goal, you need a well thought out plan and a timetable to implement the plan. It seems like a relatively simple process that would make any goal obtainable. This makes sense in theory, but in reality the best of intentions many times turn into un-kept promises to yourself or others, a missed business deadline, a downturn in sales or a decrease in productivity. Read on...

Debbie Bermont

You're in a "service" industry which by its very definition implies that "service" should be your number one priority. Webster Dictionary defines "service" as work done or duty performed for another or others. In the hospitality industry, "service" typically takes on an added definition implying favorable treatment or a positive attitude while performing a duty for another or others. The hospitality industry has gone through great lengths to raise the customer's expectations of what "service" they can expect from hotels, airlines, spas and restaurants. Read on...

Gary Leopold

Choosing an agency for your hotel should be viewed in exactly the same way that you would a business partner, and done with the same scrutiny, due diligence, inquisitiveness, proof of performance, honesty, candor, humor and affection. So where do you start? Read on...

Stacy Shaw

"Why won't the hotels follow the corporate graphic standards?" "They don't understand that my hotel's market is different?" Sound familiar? In many cases, the rapport between the corporate marketing department and hotel field marketing can be described as a love/hate relationship. Creating synergy between the two will have a positive impact on the brand image as well as the bottom line. But as part of the corporate marketing team, how do you accomplish this sometimes daunting task? Read on...

Sandy Heydt

How many of us hotel marketing directors dread the time of year when marketing plans are due? So much work! And for what purpose? When completed, most marketing plans only get placed in a tabbed binder, while the Owner, Management Company and General Manager may or may not even glance at it. Then it goes on a shelf and collects dust. First things first: everyone along the food chain needs to take responsibility for marketing plans that are not meaningful. Sometimes Management Company executives or General Managers just want a plan to look good...i.e. big and thick with lots of graphs. Marketing directors just want to get it done and move on to the next project - like actually selling rooms or putting out the first fire of the day. I can remember that when I was on property I dreaded marketing plan time because I had so many other things to do, and I was also a tad resentful because I knew the plan would really never be read carefully by anyone else. Read on...

Johnna Freud

It used to be that when a person decided he was going to need hotel accommodations, he called either a hotel directly or a travel agent for reservations. Fast forward to today, and with the impact of the Internet, the options for reserving a room -- whether in a chain, boutique or independent hotel, bed and breakfast, inn, all-inclusive club, or timeshare -- are extensive. Of course, a person can still call a hotel or a travel agent, but now he can also conduct research and make reservations via the Internet. Here is where the choices become whelming. So, when do consumers make reservations online? When do they call a travel agent? When do they call you or central reservation numbers or properties directly? And, when they consult the Internet, are they reserving directly through the hotel chains' or properties' websites or are they surfing the Web for third-party sites, many of whom provide reduced rate accommodations? What factors impact this decision-making process? Read on...

Mike Paton

With so much business being conducted "online" today, you may be tempted to let technology do all the heavy lifting for your hotel. After all, you probably get plenty of transient reservations via brand websites or TPAs, and perhaps your sales staff can barely keep up with all of the electronic RFPs you receive. Certainly, you and your sales team have had to change the way you work to accommodate the increased role technology plays in business today. But, like champion athletes, you must make sure not to rely too heavily on automation and just "go through the motions." And you shouldn't drastically change the way you work just because you're more frequently connecting with people online. Technology just creates additional ways to link buyers and sellers -- it's not meant to replace basic sales skills and old-fashioned hard work. Read on...

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Coming up in July 2019...

Hotel Spa: Pursuing Distinction

The Wellness Movement continues to evolve and hotel spas continue to innovate in order to keep pace. Fueled by intense competition within the industry, hotel spas are seeking creative ways to differentiate themselves in the market. An increasing number of customers are searching for very specific, niche treatments that address their particular health concerns and, as a result, some leading spas have achieved distinction by offering only one specialized treatment. Meditation and mindfulness practices are becoming increasingly mainstream as are alternative treatments and therapies, such as Ayurvedic therapies, Reiki, energy work and salt therapy. Some spas specialize in stress management and offer lifestyle coaching sessions as part of their program.  Other spas are fully embracing new technologies as a way to differentiate themselves, such as providing wearable devices that track health and fitness biomarkers, or robots programmed with artificial intelligence to control spa environments, or virtual reality add-ons that transport guests to relaxing places around the world. Some spas have chosen to specialize in medical procedures such as liposuction, laser skin therapy, phototherapy facials, Botox and facial fillers, acupuncture and permanent hair removal, in addition to cosmetic body shaping procedures and  teeth whitening treatments. Similarly, other spas are offering comprehensive health check-ups and counseling services for those who are interested in disease prevention treatments. Finally, as hotel spas continue to become more diverse, accessible and specialized, there is a growing demand for health professionals with a specific area of expertise. There is a proliferation of top class, quality wellness practitioners who make a name for themselves by offering their services around the globe, including athletes, chefs, doctors, physical trainers and weight loss specialists. The July issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these trends and developments and examine how some hotel spas are integrating them into their operations.