Standing out in a congested market as a hotel owner or marketer is crucial for long-term success. Making a compelling brand story that connects with your target market is THE approach to set your hotel apart from rivals.
A brand story is a narrative that captures the spirit of your hotel and engages potential customers on an emotional level; it goes beyond a tagline or slogan. Here are some guidelines for writing an engaging hotel brand story:
- Understand your audience: Understanding your target demographic is crucial before you begin creating your brand story. Who is your target audience? What are their needs and pain points? What kind of trip do they like to do? Understanding your target market will enable you to create a brand story that will appeal to them.
- The Unique Selling Proposition: The USP is a simple statement that should describe how different is your business from the competition. Common questions you should ask yourself are: What distinguishes your hotel from rivals? Is it the location, the amenities, or the staff? Establishing your hotel’s USP (unique selling proposition) and including it in your marketing narrative can be a huge differentiation factor. Don’t forget to be unique, creative, or even innovative, as the hospitality is shaped by huge dynamic fluctuations that shift competition from one field to another. The right approach to marketing captures those guests, while they move.
- The Value’s of your Brand: Value is a powerful word, it can be associated with currencies, emotions, and behavior’s. Brand Value is very much different from the Value’s of your Brand, as it isn’t connected with finance, ownership, or profitability, but with the mission, goals, and beliefs of your hotel. The Marco Polo Hotels state their values are integrity, teamwork, and respect, the Hotel Gilbert Vienna values open-mindedness and sustainability, while Hotel El Palace Barcelona prioritizes tradition as the main value. If nothing pops to your mind, don’t worry. Sometimes you need some discovering as well. Talk to locals to measure the effect your Hotel has on the community, talk to your staff to recognize employee values, or take a walk through your hotel and use your imagination. Your value may have been hidden in your eye-sight or it requires effort.
- Story-Building: Building a story is like building a hotel, it requires a strategy. A brand story is a narrative that appeals to and motivates potential visitors. Choose the main ideas and messages you want to get through in your brand story to start. Think about execution. This is the moment when you have to analyze all of the prior steps and think about your guests and values. How can your story reach them, will they listen, and what will make them listen? Some guests prefer a mobile-optimized section of the website to visualize the story, while others would prefer an influencer describing it in more detail.
- Visual Enhancement: A planned story is much more important than visuals, but in order to share a story, you need listeners. Poor visuals, design inconsistencies, and unnecessary details is what destroys the listeners will to listen. Hotels wanting to form a digital identity require full visual consistency, from the hotel logo to the hotel key card. If you need help with your visualization process, make sure to arrange a free consultation session with our graphical design team.
- Be Authentic & Honest: Losing a reputation is expensive. Stating you’re a green hotel when you are not, gets you accused of greenwashing. Opening a boutique hotel in an area of boutique hotels makes you indifferent. When it comes to telling a captivating brand story, authenticity is essential, but honesty is crucial. Your tale must be sincere and capture the spirit of your hotel. Don’t overpromise what your hotel can give or strive to be something you’re not.
An effective hotel marketing plan must have an engaging brand story. You can develop a brand story that connects with potential visitors and distinguishes your hotel from rivals by analyzing your audience, identifying your USP and brand values, developing a narrative, being real, and proving it with high-quality visuals.