The Branding Challenge
Hotels struggle with branding. With rise of online travel agencies they risk losing their brand identity, but hotels can leverage the right tools and carve out an engaging business image. There are ways to overcome this brand challenge and we have some solutions and tips to help. Social media and digital marketing strategies have become more important in the hotel industry you need them to create a strong independent presence away from OTAs and meta search platforms as well as exploring how best to use your channels.
OTA and Metasearch platforms increasing popularity has resulted in not a single hotel group making it into the top 100 Forbes brands! This is clearly a challenge for the hotel industry as hotels just like any other business deserve to have a strong voice for their business ethos and share their identity. As a result, you could say we are heading into an identity crisis for accommodation providers. People are not being impacted by hotels and there is very little personal connection between customers and hotels. This is damaging brand identity. Hotels have so much to offer in terms of connecting with people and sharing experiences across cultures and languages. This is an important part all people’s lifestyles and hotels need to capitalise on the role they play in people’s lives.
There are many ways to tackle this growing identity crisis. The first is to implement a strong branding strategy that brings together social media, digital marketing and the very best team. On top of this every hotel needs to invest in the right tools and have a look at what platform will work well for them. For example, 60% of travel companies use Instagram as a marketing tool it’s perfect in terms of connecting with millennials and showcasing highly visual material. Hotels need to capitalise their branding opportunities which can be done by analysing which channels you can connect with users on and creating strong independent channel is the first step.
Increasing your branding capabilities means not just taking on OTA dependency but really exploring your relationship with distribution channels. Look to the future and assess what your current strengths and weaknesses are and ensure that your branding strategy addresses this. Then look at what your hotel can offer people and market it through a clear digital strategy. It’s time to take the hotel industry back and avoid the branding crisis.