Profit? The ultimate question faced by hotel owners is location and brand. The financial “bottom line” can often be directly affected by the name recognition and customer loyalty associated with certain hotel brands. The costs associated with branding need to be considered in light of what the brand name can provide directly to the property.
One of our lessons learned is that a primary driver of economic stability for many properties, particularly in difficult times, is customer loyalty to a brand. While statistics showed that both business and leisure travel suffered greatly during the recent economic downturn, we also saw that customers were often willing to go the extra mile to frequent branded properties at greater costs. Many owners and operators were creative and maintained customer loyalty and brand consistency.
Although brand standards must be preserved even in a depressed economy, the right brand can bring a ready-made customer base and sophisticated distribution systems to bear and take advantage of whatever can be gained in the market. While there are many brands to choose from within many target market segments, each brand, whether full or limited service, offers variations within most segment areas. This appeals to both owners and the guests.
As the economy rebounds, the relevance of a brand will make itself known as a potential catalyst of increased revenues for the property. Branding is definitely not a one size fits all, but branding or simply rebranding has proven power when one chooses wisely.