World Panel
Viewpoint23 April 2019

Are brands becoming relevant again?

Digital Marketing in Hospitality

— 11 experts shared their view

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Are brands becoming relevant again?
This viewpoint was created by
Martin Soler, Partner at Soler & Associates
Youri Sawerschel
Founder of Creative Supply & Brand Strategist

The Hiltons and Novotels of this world have built their brand on product integrity, standardisation and distribution. Hotel branding, then, was primarily about market access and trust creation. Today, with OTAs and social media, a B&B in Tuscany can get more traction than an Ibis downtown Paris. And, thanks to online reviews, we are able to trust and book little-known independent hotels on the other side of the world. As independent and chain hotels are increasingly competing on a level playing field, hotel brands must play a new role.

Rather than reassure, the brands of tomorrow must inspire, engage and most importantly stand for something. This is a challenge for an industry that has been operations-focused for 200 years. Hoteliers must go beyond great product and great service to take a more active role. They must provide content and substance. A hotel brand could, for instance, educate its clients about healthy living, curate information about modern art or host conferences and talks about the tech industry. I think that the winning hotel brands of tomorrow will be the ones that manage to give meaning to their product by going beyond industry boundaries. For example, Tokyo-based Koé Hotel wants to provide “new basic for new culture”. Koé is at the same time a hotel, a fashion label and a music venue.

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