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7 Ways To Rebrand Your Hotel For Profit

Do you want to change the fortunes of your hotel? Is your hotel not doing profitably as you would want it to be? Are you struggling to put guests in your hotel? Maybe it’s time for you to rebrand your hotel for profit.

If your hotel is not achieving regular guest hosting of between 50 to 80 percent, your hotel will be struggling to even cover your cost. Most likely, you may have downgraded all your services in order to reduce cost and to be able to stay afloat.

But that shouldn’t be the case. For a hotel to maintain profitability it should already fill up 50 percent of its rooms. That should at least help you cover most of recurrent costs like fuel or diesel cost, staff salaries, electricity bills, generator maintenance cost, equipment repairs, fixing and replacements, transportation costs, and other miscellaneous expenses a hotel incurs daily or monthly.

Understanding How To Rebrand

The power of branding is visible in every business entity, whether or not you actually set out to brand your business initially. The truth is that everything you do when you started your business is part of branding. And most businesses have actually branded their business poorly without knowing they were de-marketing their brand.

 

 

Branding is anything you do that creates impression to promote your business to your audience. If you are not doing branding consciously you might be harming your business or product. And rebranding is a change in branding to either upgrade, reposition or retarget your market.

Wikipedia defines rebranding as a marketing strategy in which a new name, term, symbol, design, concept or combination thereof is created for an established brand with the intention of developing a new, differentiated identity in the minds of consumers, investors, competitors, and other stakeholders.

However, not all rebranding requires the change of a name. You can do color rebranding or logo or design, or whatever that suits you, with the intention to impress and improve patronage. It’s important you actually set in motion the process of branding your hotel, rather than ignore or overlook it. Planning and thinking through the processes you engage in marketing your hotel will help you avoid demarketing your hotel brand.

So, how you create marketing materials, promote your hotel and serve your customers are setting the brand image of your hotel. You are either selling your hotel brand short or you are increasing your hotel brand equity.

Don’t Make Mistakes With Rebranding

If you had made mistakes with branding in the past then you really need to start rebranding your hotel now. Branding can work for you or against you. You are better off making branding work for you. And to correct the mistakes of your past branding, you should start rebranding your hotel.

First, you need to identify the main areas of your branding problems. If you don’t really know, get the services of a consultant. Although, it’s advisable to use a brand consultant throughout the process of your branding stages. Just as you can’t self medicate, don’t rebrand your hotel yourself unless you are a brand expert.

Anything you do in business just because you want to avoid spending money will eventually cost you more money. Just spend wisely and not lavishly. And plan your cost in relation to your return on investment. Understand that if you don’t invest properly in your brand marketing, you will not get the best benefits.

READ ALSO: 10 Simple Steps To Brand Your Business

Tips To Rebrand Your Hotel

Here are tips that would help you in your re-branding process. Although, I don’t advice that you embark on this without the services of a brand consultant.

For instance, without understanding what areas of your hotel rebranding would impact on your profit, don’t just spend money on rebranding. There’s difference between rebranding and renovation. You can renovate your hotel any time you chose. It may or may not impact on your profit. But if you are renovating as part of your rebranding process, it’s also different. The renovation will follow branding guidelines and will not just be the sole work of a civil engineer but with inputs and designs from a brand consultant.

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These 7 points can help you Rebrand your hotel business. Once you identify areas you need major improvements, get help to rebrand it. Don’t self medicate in this kind of situation, since it’s already a problem you probably created yourself.

{1} Rebrand Your Hotel Image

This may not necessarily be the first rebranding strategy, but it’s important when you want to change the face and feel of your hotel generally. This might also be the most important when it matters the most, if getting attention of customers in your location is key to the rebranding.

This may involve change of name, lots of renovation work, repairs and services of major infrastructures of the hotel. Most especially the look and feel of your hotel brand. You need to know what customers have been complaining about your hotel. Your hotel image is important. I always recommend not just what customers could see, as in image but what they could feel, like the cool environment and steady electricity.

The main focus of rebranding your hotel image is to give customers the right perception that when they lodge with you, they will be paying a fair value for the luxury and comfort you provide them. So, when it has to do with image, don’t comprise with your hotel. People remember more what they saw with their eyes. Take that seriously in how you rebrand your hotel.

{2} Rebrand Your Hotel Services

If your hotel service is not topnotch, you are probably not competitive enough in the market. Always measure your service level based on your hotel type and customers satisfaction. If you really know what your hotel was setup to offer potential customers, it’s easier to know when you are failing in that promise or doing well at it.

Customer satisfaction shouldn’t be an empty promise. Itemize what your service promises are and publicize it in all your rooms. That would give customers an idea of what level of service they can get from you. It helps to keep their expectation within a defined level. People really like to know what they are getting and not to be allowed to operate on assumption.

And if you make a promise, let it bind on your hotel and train your staff to provide those promises excellently. Let your hotel be known for your services. That way customers will know what to talk about that you do in your hotel. That’s a good way to rebrand your hotel.

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{3} Rebrand Your Hotel Rooms

In hotel business the rooms holds all the magic. That’s where the customers make their final decision to lodge in your hotel. So, your best magic should be done in the rooms. Your can sell your hotel short or better with your rooms. If you are already in hotel business you would have known what customers are saying about your rooms firsthand.

And in the room, the bed is something else. Some hotels play the scheme of small size, queen size and king size beds. Depending on how this works for you, playing the bed game is a poor hotel marketing strategy. It means you don’t have better room deals that you have to use beds to create different packages. This kind of strategy sell your hotel short.

Hotel is luxury business and anything you do should be to give customers luxury. If the luxury is cut down the satisfaction is reduced. The rooms should be exquisite in beauty and the beds a touch of comfort. If you are not selling this kind of room and hospitality, even if you seem to be doing well because you have some monopoly of your location, some one may soon undercut your advantage.

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{4} Rebrand Your Hotel Foods

Food is an important hotel service. When people come to lodge in your hotel, they don’t have a different plan of how they are going to eat. But most hotels fail their hosts when it comes to food. It’s either the food are not as tasteful and low class, or that it’s overpriced and discouraged lodgers from buying foods from you.

When rebranding a hotel, don’t miss the food. Even if your foods are selling and customers don’t mind, still rebrand the food. Its either you are adding more food options, or you are increasing the taste level. Foods are an integral part of hotel stories. If they foods are not good the customers notice.

Although, most lodgers have written off hotel foods for two reasons; for their bad taste and high prices. This areas should form major part of your food rebranding process. Don’t push your lodgers into eating outside your hotel, and then, only to return to order water from you. Push food as an integral service of your hotel and encourage customers to eat food while they are lodging in your hotel. Moreover, see food just as an extra revenue source. Don’t put all your revenue burden on the food price.

{5} Rebrand Your Hotel Bar

That also includes the bar section. You shouldn’t make drinking at your hotel a financial problem. Some hotels markup their drinks higher than regulated retail price. That’s not entirely bad but don’t overdo anything in hotel business. Anything you do gives the lodger an impression of your brand. Sometimes high price is misconstrued as extortion. You don’t want your customers thinking that you are extorting them.

Think reasonably when pricing your drinks. I once bought a bottle of red label drink from a hotel bar for N7,000. This same drink is sold in Shoprite for N3,999. I paid extra N3,000 for the same drink and end up paying that much for a knock-off version, when the original is sold at N3,999.

Although, not every hotel has a large open bar. Whatever bar you have, try to make it as reasonable as possible for your customers. I have seen guys leave their hotel to go drink in a nearby bar because the price is cheaper. If you know you target customers and how they think, try and align your prices to match their expectation.

{6} Rebrand Your Hotel Marketing

Marketing should be at the heart of rebranding your hotel. How you get customers daily to your hotel is important. And how many channels of marketing you have is equally important. Also, you need to identify which of them are generating revenue and how much? This kind of assessment is important to how you brand your hotel.

If more customers are not walking into your hotel daily, you are actually not running a profitable hotel business. A good hotel should be having problem of over booking or being fully booked to rejecting new bookings. If you are not having that kind of problem then you are having the other kind of problem, which is not good for your bottom line.

Your marketing should focus on every area that has the potential to get you new customers daily. Imagine if you have 5 channels and each one can get you 7 new customers everyday; that’s 35 new customers daily. This excludes returning customers and walking customers, whom you may not have control over their patronage. And if you have 50 rooms hotel, you have already solved much of your problem by attracting 35 new customers everyday.

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But how do you go about building your channels? You can decide to have an in-house marketing staff. That’s good but may not be effective if your hire is limited in their knowledge on hotel marketing. You can also outsource this to a third party, which is better but may not be cost effective. An experienced freelance hotel marketer will be better at the early stages. Don’t skip this process. And you can reuse them when ever you feel the sales are slowing down again. You can also retain a freelance marketer on a monthly retainer-ship fee that pays for itself monthly.

Some smart hotels also use their empty rooms as a marketing strategy to attract new customers. You should explore how to turn your empty hotel rooms into a trap to get new customers.

READ ALSO: How Marketing Works For Beginners

{7} Rebrand Your Hotel For Competition

Do you know what your competitions are doing to get more customers than what you are getting? You cannot be competing with rival brands and be ignorant of what they are doing. There’s nothing wrong in businesses spying on each other. It’s what many businesses do normally, spying on their competition. And you should be doing that too.

And if you don’t know how to spy on your competitors, hire a business consultant. It’s safer you hire a consultant that’s experienced in business, branding or marketing and strategies as well. That way you have an expert who really know how best to spy on your competition. Remember, you are not spying on them for negative reasons. You are looking for what they are doing so well that could help you boost your own business.

Do you even know what’s your competitors unique selling proposition? You can learn a lot from the competition if only you know what drives their hotel business. Sometimes the secret you are looking for is in the open. Who they are, what they do and how they do it are as simple as a USP.

 

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Conclusion

The biggest problem for hotels is unsatisfied customers. Sometimes your staff can so displease customers and put your business is grave danger. In the past that could be easily overlooked but not anymore. One displeased customer can wreck your hotel business. So, you dare not ignore your customers anymore.

The internet is another aspect of your hotel business that you should take seriously. It’s either you are working the internet to your advantage or the internet could be working against your hotel business. Even one bad customer review can take away customers from your hotel. And the customer might not even be right, but merely angry at the way he or she was treated the last time they visited your hotel.

Finally, hotel business is to provide relaxation, comfort and luxury. Stop seeing your hotel business as a rental business. It doesn’t matter how small your hotel is, don’t ever compromise or miss your purpose. Some hotels have derailed to just rental business. But hotel business is not a rental business.

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