7.1.2021

Get Comfortable with Hotel Branding

Written by Aine Hendron

hotel brand

Branding is more than just images and pictures of your hotel. It’s more than the name, the logo, and the building itself. Creating effective branding can transform the entire aesthetic of your hotel and help you reach a new volume of customers. Your branding decisions will hugely impact your hotel’s reputation. Its importance shouldn’t be underestimated.

Where to begin when creating a branding strategy? This blog tells you everything you need to know about defining your hotel brand.

Brand, branding, logo, and identity - what are they?

Before jumping into hotel branding itself, it’s important to understand the terminology and thinking behind brands and branding. People often use these terms interchangeably, when in fact they are two different concepts. We’ll also explore logos and brand identity before covering why you need to adopt these things into your hotel marketing strategy and how you can get started with branding. 

1.Brand

A popular misconception is that your ‘brand’ refers to how your business looks to customers and how your business communicates. In fact, Your brand refers to a feeling. Your brand is how your company is perceived. It’s the thoughts that people associate with your products and services. 

Scott Cook, the co-founder of Intuit, explains: “a brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is—it is what consumers tell each other it is.” [1

Customers attach experiences and emotions to brands that go beyond the product or service itself. However, control of a company’s image is not completely in the public’s hands. Businesses can try to control how their brand is perceived through their branding. 

2.Branding 

Branding is how businesses communicate with their intended audience. It is the steps you take and the words you use that encourage customers to opt for your product instead of your competitors. Branding can include many things associated with a business: the logo, design, online publications, style of writing - essentially its overall identity. Strong branding will contribute to the establishment of the brand in the customer’s mind. 

There are over 700,000 hotels and resorts worldwide [2]. So, how do you stand out in such a densely populated market? 

Let’s use commercial airlines as an example. Airline companies create branding that is completely personalised to the customers they target. TUI, for example, creates adverts which show children and families at resorts. Their branding is focused on creating memorable family holidays, and the flight is simply a part of that journey.

On the other hand, Emirates’ branding is focused on offering premium, luxurious fights, selling the flight itself as the highlight of the experience. 

These companies sell the same service, yet their branding is completely different and targets different groups of people.

3.Identity

HeyNow Media perfectly defines identity as the visual execution of your branding strategy [3]. Basically, identity is how your business looks and communicates with potential and existing customers. It includes:

  • Logo
  • Font
  • Colour palette 
  • Slogans 
  • Products and packaging
  • Merchandise 
  • Website design and infographics 
  • Tone of voice, language choice and use of slang or colloquialisms

The visual identity of your business should be consistent across all publications and channels. It’s a style that should be unique to your company to attract customers' attention and make your business memorable in a crowded market. Your branding will fully inform your identity. 

4.Logo

The logo is the visual mark or graphic that people use to identify a business. A good business logo will be responsive. This means it can be shrunken down or have elements missing and still be recognisable.

For example, the Chanel logo can be written out with the word ‘Chanel’, and the signature monogram C’s. Simplified, people recognise Chanel products when they are presented without the brand name, by the two back-to-back C’s alone.

The same goes for the Hilton hotel group: written in full, the logo says ‘Hilton Hotel and Resorts’; this can be simplified to the signature ‘H’ encased in a swirl. 

Your logo should be unique and instantly recognisable. 

Why is hotel branding important? 

Using these four elements effectively will perpetuate your business message to hotel guests, and those considering trying your services. While you cannot control exactly how your business is viewed or perceived, your branding will certainly help steer customers in the right direction. 

It personifies your brand 

Your hotel brand should be recognisable the way any person or character is. Guests expect hotels to use a consistent language style and look and act a certain way. This will encourage familiarity with your brand among customers and sets a precedent for future guest interactions. 

Hoteliers are choosing your hotel as their place of refuge. As well as expecting safety and security, they want to feel comfortable and trust the hotel brand they have chosen. Being predictable doesn’t mean being boring. It just means that guests can expect consistently high-quality experiences when staying at your hotel. 

It speaks to your ideal customers

Strong branding will help you reach your ideal customer base. All businesses want to be recognised and remembered as their customer’s go-to brand. Depending on the type of customer you want to attract, your branding will have its own unique style that targets certain groups of people. This is known as defining your brand niche. 

For example, if you’re a family-orientated hotel, your branding will attempt to attract people of all ages, advertise fun activities and offer group discounts. You might choose to incorporate lively colours into your logo and use creative typography.

If your hotel is ideal for business travellers, you may want to use more muted colours, focus on relaxation, convenient location, and easy transport links. 

Unless your hotel really is ideal for every type of traveller, you’ll want to make it clear who you are catering to through your branding. Can you imagine the disappointment and confusion a family with young children would experience if they landed at a couples resort and spa? Or a newly-wed couple arriving at an accommodation designed for young backpackers? One-style-fits-all approaches do not usually work well for niche hotels. 

The key is to know your audience and help give them what they want through how you style and present your hotel. 

Use your platform for change  

2021 research reveals that 63% of customers prefer to buy from companies that have an obvious moral standing point, and will avoid those that don’t. While actively campaigning for a particular issue was probably viewed as controversial in the past, results show that customers actually want businesses to take a step forward and show that they care. 

You could, for example, engage with ongoing social and environmental issues, and show your support for local campaigns by incorporating this into your branding. 

It doesn’t have to be radical - a good place to start is committing to reducing waste and become more environmentally friendly. An Eco-Business report states that a single 200-room four-star hotel can use nearly 300,000 pieces of single-use plastic in a month [4]. This inspired a global hospitality trend in 2018 where travel-size shampoo bottles and soap bars were replaced with wall-mounted dispensers in thousands of hotels. 

Other ideas include pledging to use only metal or wooden utensils instead of plastic, or using biodegradable bin bags, or no bags at all. 

Solidify your values 

Communicating regularly using your branding and identity will encourage your hotel to stay true to its core values and company ethos. These views and company-wide opinions should be presented through your mission statement.

An ethical brand with great services should attract new customers through its mission statement, and give returning customers a reason to stay loyal. Despite being a fiercely competitive market, many guests choose to stay in the same location over and over again. This isn’t solely down to pricing, but the guest’s impression of the brand. 

Achieve it with Epos Now 

We dub it the future of hotel management: the Hotel Epos System.

No matter if you run a small boutique or a large hotel with a restaurant and bar, you can manage all channels with Epos Now

All of your operations can be viewed from a single terminal, even if you operate hotels across multiple locations. This omnichannel option allows you to make better-informed decisions about the profitability of each hotel to maximise profit and reduce waste.

The Epos Hotel platform allows you to create a reliable and predictable experience for customers. We create a seamless booking website that encourages customer loyalty with special discounts and promotional deals. Lists of available rooms are at your fingertips for fast, convenient booking, with availability updated in real-time. 

Your pre-existing or totally brand new marketing software can be integrated with your point of sale (POS) system, which helps you attract a new array of customers and implement your branding strategy through classy email or online communications. 

Become a hospitality industry leader by investing in POS software that is designed specifically for your business. If you’re interested, get in touch today to enquire about the Hotel Epos Software and Systems

You may also want to read… 

How to Value a Hotel

How Much Do Hotel Owners Make?

How to Become a Hotel Manager

How to Retain Your Customers

Epos Now Call us now