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Edward Donaldson

The outlook for the coming years show countries such as India, Brazil, China & Russia having the largest impact on the consumer market. China is the largest population in the world and recent statistics indicate that 1 out of every 6 people on earth are living in China. This will have a drastic effect on the travel industry and the luxury market. Analysts also forecast that China will be the world's most important luxury market by 2011. As more products become available to more people, the pressure increases to offer something truly special. Read on...

Debbie Bermont

There is a common misconception in the marketplace of exactly how you define a target market. At the very least companies define their target market using specific demographic criteria such as age, income, location and professional title. Then, there are companies who add in some psychographic information such as hobbies, interests, travel habits and buying behavior. This information is all important...but it is only 25% of the definition of who is the ideal fit for your property. If you were to throw a dart at a dartboard, the demographic and psychographics of your target market would represent the outermost ring of the board. This means that if you are targeting all of your marketing and sales efforts using only demographic and psychographic information as your ideal market criteria, you will have a tough time hitting a bulls eye with any consistency. This translates into wasted time, money and resources marketing to the wrong people - a sure sign your property is out of alignment and you haven't correctly profiled your ideal customer. Here are telltale signs that your property is out of alignment: Read on...

Naseem Javed

No matter how and where you travel, with or without your products or your corporate image, the chances are that a lot of your marketing messages are getting lost in translation as they make their way around the globe. Business names are being hit the hardest as the world becomes smaller and companies go global. Each one of us is now spinning in a mix of international alphabet soup of strange names and terminologies. You invent something new, send out a release, the media talks about it and, within seconds, it becomes an international item.Your business name image might end up as a great universal message or emulate some strange and confusing messages with insults or profanity. But why? Read on...

Naseem Javed

Is this the dawning of the age of branding or just another black hole? Learn and teach new standards, lead and spread the new knowledge in your organization, break the old methods. The sooner you come out of the bondage of the old fashioned marketing and branding campaigns, the sooner you will see a new dawn. There is certainly light on the other side of this black hole. There are brand new rules of global marketing. A proper discovery process on how to approach visibility while building clean international name identities for this global name-economy is a must. Globalization will make the localization process manageable. Look out for feelings of certain numbness while sitting in a quiet time zone in a corporation. Read on...

Naseem Javed

For any Hospitality corporation with plans to hit the markets with an IPO in 2005 or beyond, here are some key points. Just like how your latest technology and your other corporate assets are essential to develop great financials for a potential IPO, your corporate image and brand name recognition are equally important to get the word out in the marketplace. Both are critical for real success. Google's recent success with their IPO and the way their unique name played out is a clear case of a smart victory. Uniqueness and distinction makes a clear path of communication starting from your HQ all the way to the shareholders via the stock markets. A corporate brand with millions of dollars in advertising and promotional support is just a useless brand unless it has a unique position, and a clear name identity, strong enough to place the corporation aside from all the other copycats and look-alike, similarly named companies. Read on...

Naseem Javed

There are thousands of very, very small companies out there who will develop a logo at no cost, a tagline at no cost, get you a free domain name and a free website at no cost. I guess the next big thing will be that they also write you a fat check...all for free. Who are these enterprises and how are they doing this? The Internet has removed the cumbersome overhead costs and linked very talented people to handle the real issues in real time without the fancy decorum and the super fulvous big time fanfare. Enter the street fighter, a savvy marketer with some teeth and a friendly smile. The freelance nations have far too many operators on the marketing and branding circuit that all are chipping away the armor of the giant branding companies who until now sold more on their posh addresses and furniture than raw talent. Million dollar logos with a matching spin to thousand of others, million dollar-slogans, confusing sentences as branding miracles. Suddenly, such services are now available for free as an incentive to get a new client for print and related packaging services. Read on...

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...

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Coming up in October 2019...

Revenue Management: Focus On Profit

Revenue Management is still a relatively new profession within hotel operations and as such, it continues to evolve. One significant trend in this area is a shift away from using revenue as the foundation to generate key performance indicators (KPIs) and to instead place the emphasis on profit. Traditionally, revenue managers have relied on total revenue per available room (TrevPAR) and revenue per available room (RevPAR) as the basis of their KPIs. Now, some revenue managers are using gross operating profit per available room (GOPPAR) as their primary KPI. This puts profit at the center of revenue management strategy, and managers are increasingly searching for new ways to increase the profitability of their hotels. Return on Investment is the objective of any hotel investment, so it is only logical that profitability and ROI will be emphasized going forward. Another trend is an expanded focus on direct hotel bookings. Revenue managers know that one way to increase profitability is to steer guests away from online travel agencies (OTAs) and book directly with the hotel. This tactic also reinforces brand identity and loyalty, and encourages repeat business. In addition, it provides a valuable platform to market the hotel directly to the customer, and to upsell room upgrades or other services to them. Another trend for revenue managers involves automation in their software programs. Revenue management systems with automation are far more desirable than those without it. Automating data entry and logistics increases efficiency, allowing managers to spend more time on formulating strategy. As a bonus, an automated system helps with aggregating and interpreting data. The October issue of the Hotel Business Review will address these developments and document how some leading hotels are executing their revenue management strategies.