Hotel Staff assisting guest Hotel Branding

Ask someone the best hotel brands they know and they’d immediately blurt out some of the world’s biggest chains like Marriott, Shangri-La Hotels, Four Seasons, and Hilton Hotels among others. But that doesn’t mean only big hotel chains have the identity in the market. Truth is, all hotels, whether you are a large-scale, small-scale or independent hotel, have their own hotel branding. 

Hospitality branding is important for smaller independent hotels, too and just like the bigger names in the industry, even small hotels can keep up with the competition as long as you understand your brand and you have the right hotel brand strategies.

In this article, that is exactly what we will address. We will help small hotels like you to build a strong brand identity that will capture your customers.

What’s inside this blog?

Brand vs Branding vs Brand Identity

Many people use these terms interchangeably like they mean the same thing but actually not. If you want to be on the right track, you must learn the difference between Brand vs Branding vs Brand Identity.

  • Brand: How people perceive your business
  • Branding: The action or process you take to build your hotel’s image
  • Brand identity: The collection of tangible elements—in the form of visual and verbal—that you use to get your message across

Why is Hotel Branding so Important?

Sure, people book hotels not because of a well-designed, aesthetic logo but because of the price, location, vibe, amenities, services, and overall hotel design, among many other things. But even though these are the main factors that travelers consider, you should not underestimate the importance of hotel branding. All the more you should work on it as it will differentiate you from your competitors that offer the same things. 

If you have an effective hotel brand strategy that is able to build an emotional connection with the customers, people will remember you and distinguish you even from afar.

Hospitality branding also helps you to establish trust. By being consistent in your messaging and creating a relationship with your guests from pre-booking to post-stay, you’ll be able to attract guests and turn them into loyal customers.

Things to Do to Build a Strong Hotel Brand Identity

1. Do a market research

As always, everything starts with knowing your customers. Before you create your brand strategy, first figure out your target market and what interests them because how can you serve them better if you don’t know who you are serving, right? Once you have the data, build your brand with this market in mind. For example, if you are targeting families, focus on play areas and child-friendly designs. If you’re targeting millennials, focus on aesthetics and digital features, sometimes minimalism does the trick. 

2. Build a strong narrative for your hotel

While your room types and amenities are among the most essential things in the success of your hotel, they are not enough to build your brand identity. People, especially these days, want more than what the eyes see. They want stories. 

According to a case study by Baker Brand, our brains are wired to crave stories. “Stories can satisfy the unconscious system’s need for causal relationships—framing information in a way that is easy to make sense of and relate to existing experiences. Presenting data in the context of a causal interpretation or story is much more powerful than sharing statistical results in isolation,” says Baker Brand. In short, people are always looking for authenticity, emotion, and connection. 

What you can do is voice out a story for your hotel that touches on your history, your mission, your values, and your dedication to guests. If their desire for stories is fed, your guests would be more likely to build a connection and a long-lasting relationship with your brand.

3. Create a strong visual identity

We can’t stress enough how crucial this point is because the way you present your hotel brand can make or break your credibility. Your visuals—from your logo and ads to social media creatives—must be consistent and most importantly, they must reflect your brand and your story. 

4. Take advantage of social media

Having a strong social media presence allows you to develop business partnerships and guest relationships, reduce marketing costs and improve sales. Use it to promote your hotel and make your brand exciting. Create content that will provoke interest from your audience. Have your satisfied guests amplify your hotel’s brand by making your social media pages a safe and engaging space for them.

Frequently Asked Questions About Hospitality Branding

Q: What is hotel branding?
A: Hotel branding is the process you take to build your hotel’s image (brand). This differentiates you from your competitors and makes your audience choose your hotel over your competitors.

Q: What is the importance of hotel branding?
A: The importance of hotel branding focuses on two main things: it helps you stand out from the competition and helps you establish trust. 

Q: How to build a strong hotel brand identity?
A: Building a strong hotel brand identity is crucial but manageable. Here are ways on how you can create a hotel brand that will appeal to your audience:

  1. Do a market research
  2. Build a strong narrative for your hotel
  3. Create a strong visual identity
  4. Take advantage of the power of social media
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