Three Focus Areas for Building a Profitable Hotel Identity

***Guest post from SiteMinder, a WebRezPro partner***

Creating a profitable business in any sector is a challenge, but doing so in the hotel industry is another kettle of fish altogether.

Countless factors impact the potential success of a hotel – including those out of your own control. So is there a way of simplifying the conversation and distilling the task down into a basic template?

While it may never be easy, we think there are three foundational pillars that you can focus on to give you the best chance of creating a profitable hotel identity.

1. Your brand mission and core values

All successful and renowned brands have something in common – their customers and the general public know clearly what they stand for and what the brand represents.

This is also the case within the tourism and hotel community. For example, everyone knows that Four Seasons leaves no stone unturned in delivering impeccable service and facilities to create true luxury experiences, or that Six Senses is famed for expertly and uniquely blending hospitality and wellness.

Even without the ambition to become a huge global brand, you should still aim to establish a strong brand mission and create some core values that will define your hotel(s).

Why? Because this is what will attract guests to stay with you, convince them to return, and encourage them to recommend you to others.

However, this will only be effective if you are dedicated to living up to your promises. Nothing unbalances a brand more than inconsistency, because inconsistency breeds mistrust.

Some tips for branding or re-branding:

  • Name and logo: Your name and logo should be synonymous with the experiences you’ll deliver while also being unique and easily searchable.
  • A core philosophy: What will be the overarching theme that drives the design, service, and offerings of your brand? Will it be a commitment to sustainability? A promise to welcome pets of all shapes and sizes with open arms? A refuge for burnt-out professionals?
  • Storytelling: A great idea is only great if you can communicate it well. Think about how you can make your narrative interesting, create inspiring visuals, and spread memorable words.

Perhaps the most important step after all of this is to hire and train excellent staff that have the motivation, skills, and knowledge to ‘live’ the brand through every customer interaction.

A smiling traveler books hotel accommodation online using her mobile phone.
A seamless guest experience is key to a profitable hotel identity.

2. An optimised tech stack

The brand is what guests see but you can’t keep it up in lights if the engine powering your everyday operations breaks down.

Technology is now a non-negotiable if you want to manage your hotel effectively and grow your success. But even if you do adopt technology systems to help you automate admin tasks, uncover useful data, or maximise revenue, they have to work together seamlessly.

If your systems aren’t communicating on a two-way basis, errors will occur, data will become ‘siloed’ and you’ll end up in the same mess as someone using manual methods to manage their business.

Using ‘open’ technology, which can be accessed and interacted with by third-party integrations via Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), will alleviate this.

For instance, if you want a strong distribution and direct booking strategy, you’ll need seamless integration between your property management system, a channel manager, an online booking engine, and even a payment processing solution. Not all providers can deliver on this so it’s important to do your research. 

The benefits of optimising your tech stack in this way and finding tech partners that have comprehensive ecosystems include:

  • Accelerated sharing of information and system updates
  • Greater capability to increase brand visibility and sell expiring inventory
  • Clearer understanding of the local market and competition
  • Enhanced ability to personalise the guest relationship and increase guest spend
  • Complete insights and performance data that can influence better strategy

Maintaining control and clarity on the backend will allow your frontend to thrive, which is what your guests care about. Any excuse you offer them for a bad experience due to a delay or error will mean nothing to them, so make it a priority to streamline your hotel’s tech stack.

3. Customer relationships

Of course, your brand can’t exist without customers. They are your most valuable asset and your number one priority if you want a business that survives long-term.

Tips on delivering true hospitality to guests deserves its own book-length post but let’s talk about five ways to improve customer relationships in your hotel.

  • Think about the entire customer journey: The customer journey begins well before your guests arrive or even book with you. It begins as soon they become inspired to take a trip and start performing searches on Google or social media. It also doesn’t end when they check-out. You need to find ways to influence them at every touchpoint. For example, do you have a blog dedicated to your location? Do you have email campaigns dedicated to past guests?
  • Take personalisation seriously: Yes it’s a buzzword but it is for a reason. Guests want to feel valued, they crave convenience, and they desire flexibility. Invest in strategies and solutions that allow you to learn about your guests, communicate easily and effectively, offer them customised deals, and let them feel in control of their own stay.
  • Uphold exemplary standards: The most simple and most important rule is to provide guests with clean, comfortable, and well maintained rooms and amenities. This golden rule of hospitality is so often the undoing of hotels and can certainly mean the difference between a positive and negative review.
  • Join in on the conversations: This means be active where your guests are active and celebrate them in the process. Use social media and physical events to engage and interact with past, present, and future guests via ‘tags’, competitions, giveaways, social gatherings, and other initiatives like exercise classes.
  • Live a day in your customer’s shoes: To really understand how to better serve your guests, you need to think like them and experience what they experience. Every so often, spend some time researching, booking, and experiencing your own property. Did you encounter any friction? Does your brand capture the imagination? Does everything look and function as it should?

With the right technology partner, you can bring your branding exercise to life seamlessly. Having a single platform that can do it all, which includes key integrations with apps, property management systems, and expert consultants, means you won’t have to split your time, money, and effort into too many pieces.

With features to enhance your marketing, increase your distribution, improve guest relationships, and boost revenue, SiteMinder’s platform offers unrivalled performance. 

Learn more about what’s included in SiteMinder’s offerings here.

About SiteMinder

SiteMinder Limited (ASX:SDR) is the name behind SiteMinder, the only software platform that unlocks the full revenue potential of hotels. The global company is headquartered in Sydney with offices in Bangalore, Bangkok, Barcelona, Berlin, Dallas, Galway, London and Manila. Through its technology and the largest partner ecosystem in the global hotel industry, SiteMinder generates more than 115 million reservations worth over US$45 billion in revenue for its hotel customers each year.