Hilton, Marriott, IHG, Accor - There are a plethora of hotel brands that we all know. Brands come and go, some fall, some rise and a handful stay. Success is something that we all want, but can’t have. But why is that the case? It’s simple, different brands have different plans and strategies when it comes to the growth of their brand, whether or not their strategies work is a different story. It’s important to note that even when implementing good plans, strategies, and even advertising, it still might not be enough. You can always do a quick google search on ‘How to Build a Hotel Brand’, take the first four suggestions and go from there, or you can read this, take in more in depth advice on how to grow your hotel brand the right way.
Understanding Your Brand
A factor that really plays a big part when building a hotel brand is getting to know it, really understanding the origin, what it represents, and being able to adapt the brand to the market that you're trying to grow in. An interview by Hotel Intel, discusses the topic of branding with Hotel Branding Expert Dr. James Mabey who is the Managing Director for Middle East and Asia for Standard International.
He mentions when it comes to branding,
“ The key thing I think is really understanding where the brand resonates from the original DNA, and then being able to adapt that and localise it to the individual market that you’re growing in. It's not an accident when brands grow, it’s a decision, it’s a strategy, and it works best if you have good DNA that already resonates at different levels across countries, and across cultures”.
Localisation of a Brand
Aspiration will only get you so far, there has to be a point where the brand is able to pull in locals within the community, really get people to feel connected, and welcomed within the brand. The brand should really be able to understand, fit in, and adapt well within the culture of that community. In the interview with Hotel Intel, Dr. James Mabey urges brands to have an open mind when coming into the market and not so much diving straight into trying to teach or change the current culture, as it doesn't work that way. Instead he recommends working with the community to try and bring it together, and adapt it to the brand, this way they work in harmony without stripping away any of the culture, as he indicates that “There are amazing people all across the world, from every culture, from every race. You need to be able to bring the best aspects of those cultures together to create cool new things”.
Hiring Staff, Building the Perfect Team
Having staff that are originated from the area plays a great advantage in growing the brand, and you may ask why? As mentioned in the Hotel Intel interview, having staff that are experienced within the location, really knowing the roots within the area will have a better understanding of how they can represent themselves and the brand so that it would adapt well within the area. It should be the aspect of localisation that is the biggest driving factor of growing your brand, it’s all about being collaborative with staff, really getting to listen to different ideas and opening new windows.
From the topics that were discussed, the main selling force when it comes to growing a brand is the idea of feeling ‘at home’ and welcomed. You can’t go into an area in which you have no experience in, and expect to have any sort of success. There has to be a familiarity to the people in order for anything to grow, localisation and understanding is the driving force that will lead you to a path of success.