From podcasts to social media, how your brand can garner attention from customers.
When kindergarteners have a “brand” (We’re looking at you Blue Ivy.) then of course hotels must be super savvy about their branding campaign to ensure they attract guests. The answer appears to be a multi-pronged approach that incorporates layers of branding, from podcasts to social media contests to VR tours. But beyond the approaches, what matters is the tone and intent that each effort creates. Let us explain.
Keep it natural
When it comes to promoting your brand, hotel or otherwise, there’s a fine line between good promotion and over the top promotion. Creating high-quality content, that features a natural narrative versus blatant brand promotion, is essential. It also establishes your brand as an authority with the confidence to not be constantly bragging (or even humble bragging). For instance, Levi’s Circles commercial focuses on different cultures coming together and expressing themselves through dance. Sure, they are wearing Levi’s products, but the focus is on the joy and movement the people are expressing. That is the feeling that you are trying to capture. For a hotel, this can translate to stories that share the emotions we have when we travel, interjecting—in understated ways—how your properties can enhance these feelings.
Invite further action
Successful hotel branding campaigns don’t start and stop with one particular ad or piece of content. To achieve a real interaction, your marketing efforts must prompt the user to do something else. And often these efforts build on each other and the overarching vision and core values you have created surrounding your hotel. Again, subtleness matters. Stella Artois’s Joie de Bière leaves viewers not only craving a sip of their beer, but also rediscovering the necessity of a good pocket. An effective post or podcast will inspire guests to visit your main website, click on different locations or even make a reservation.
Sometimes the most successful branding campaigns are the ones that take a bit of a risk. One way to do that in the hospitality industry is to embrace virtual reality (VR) technology. This may still seem like a faddish way to garner attention, but according to a survey conducted by Greenlight VR, people are very interested in exploring travel and tourism destinations via VR. Their survey found that the category of travel, tourism and adventure was the number one category of interest, with more than 70 percent of respondents citing it. This ad for Toms shoes, entitled A Walk in Their Shoes, is a powerful example of VR’s emotional potential in advertising.
Give customers a voice
Social media has truly shifted the landscape in terms of how brands and their customers interact. Allowing guests to promote your property in their own words can be far more powerful than any efforts you create on your own. Not only are social media campaigns that solicit pictures and feedback from actual guests extremely powerful and authentic, they also are a great way to make guests feel recognized and valued. For instance, Starbucks Red Cup Contest has become a highly anticipated seasonal event, inviting people to showcase their Starbucks holiday cup throughout their daily lives.