Branding Hospitality: Challenges, Opportunities and Best Practices
Vol 4 No 5
By: Chekitan S. Dev Ph.D. and Glenn Withiam
Participants in the second annual Cornell Brand Management Roundtable examined both the elements of a strong brand and the place of social media in helping hospitality brands survive and thrive. While brand management fundamentals remain unchanged in the digital age, the widespread expansion of social media and smart phones, along with ever vigilant (and vigilante) guests creates a round-the-clock environment for all brands.
Excellent brands will continue to shine in this environment, but weak or defective brands may be swept away by the tsunami of digital information. One participant’s definition of a brand is “business strategy brought to life.” Under that rubric, everyone in the company should understand and be able to articulate their brand’s key differentiating points. Whether one is developing a new brand or upgrading an existing brand, innovating a brand involves a disciplined process that begins with recognizing a need and then taking the steps to determine how to fill that need in a way that resonates with customers. As an example, InterContinental Hotels Group has developed the new Even Hotels brand to fulfill an identified market gap for frequent travelers who wish to maintain their healthful balance and routines on the road.
The rise of social media has altered the relationship of brand and customer from a theoretical partnership to a continuous interaction. In particular, social media strongly influence consumers’ purchase processes. For example, brands in the original decision set may all be dropped by the time a purchase occurs and an entirely different brand—perhaps one suggested by strangers via social media—may be the final choice. Moreover, flash deals spur purchases that may be based on price rather than brand. To remain a strong brand in the presence of social media, a hospitality firm needs horizontal integration so that guests receive a consistent experience at all levels of brand contact.
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- Branding Hospitality: Challenges, Opportunities and Best Practices By: Chekitan S. Dev Ph.D. and Glenn Withiam
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Other Reports or Articles You May Find of Interest
- Engaging Consumers: Building the LEGO Brand and Culture One Brick at a Time, by Conny Kalcher
- Building Brands in the Internet Age: Analytics, Loyalty, and Communication, by Glenn Withiam
- Improving the Guest Experience through Service Innovation: Ideas and Principles for the Hospitality Industry, by: Cathy A. Enz
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