Library Archives

 
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...

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...

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Coming up in February 2020...

Social Media: Social Listening Tools

The reach and influence of social media is staggering. Nearly 3 billion people use social media daily, posting a range of messages, selfies, images, and everything in-between. According to HubSpot, almost 4 million posts are uploaded to the major social networks every single minute! That's an astounding amount of content and it is crucial for hotels to skillfully use social media in order to effectively compete. From establishing a suitable brand identity and voice to creating content across all the major networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.), the goal is to actively engage consumers and to eventually convert them to customers. Some hotels are initiating online contests as a way to attract new customers, while others are rewarding customers with discounts who subscribe to the their email lists or follow their social media pages. Another recent strategy is to employ social media listening tools that track what people are posting online about their businesses. These tools allow hotels to monitor - or listen to - what's being said about a brand across the entire social web, and this can prove to be very valuable, unfiltered information. Social listening permits hotels to be aware of people's opinions about their business, industry or competitors, and some of these tools even listen beyond social media platforms. They also monitor publicly available information on blogs, forums, news outlets and websites. Some listening tools are more focused on gathering and analyzing data, while others offer more engagement-oriented features, which allow hotels to interact with people right from the platform. Often the information that is gleaned from these listening tools ends up being the most authentic, unbiased insights a business can get. The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to successfully integrate social media strategies into their operations.