Branding is more than the look and feel, it’s a statement of who you and your business are & how you can add value to your guests. How is this achieved?
Welcome to another edition of hospitality property school.
I’m your host Gerry MacPherson and today we are going to talk about Branding –What Makes You Stand Out.
So what is branding?
Well, brands are a distinctive symbol that identifies your independent hotel, inn, resort or bed and breakfast and is used in the business, marketing, and advertising.
Successful branding is the key to outdoing competition and creating guest loyalty and is not something that should be taken lightly.
It is more than the look and feel, it’s a statement of who you are and how you can add value for your guests.
Branding is about getting your potential customers to see you as the one that can provide a solution to their problem.
The objectives of a good brand will include:
- Delivers the message clearly
- Confirms your integrity
- Connects your target guests emotionally
- Motivates them to choose your property
- Solidifies your guest’s loyalty
To succeed in branding you must understand the needs and wants of your customers and potential customers and this can be invaluable as the struggle for customers increases in a tighter economy.
You have to ask yourself, “What qualities, values and experiences am I offering my customers?”
In order for your branding to seem dependable and be successful, you need to project a truthful image of what your property is attempting to provide. But before you can do that, you have to express your company’s mission so that you know what makes you are unique from your competitors.
Think about the following questions:
- Why did you start this business?
- What goals do you want to achieve?
- Who are the guests you want to attract?
- What makes your company different from other properties?
Now you have to decide on how you want your customers to see you
Aim for your customers to think of your brand, your property almost like a living, breathing entity they can trust.
This is the time for you to do your research.
I have mentioned this before, you have to know your competition
- Talk with your customers
- You want to hear the feedback, how you could improve and is your brand clear.
- Think like a customer
- This is something a lot of owners and managers forget to do.
What is your properties tagline?
You have your mission statement so from that choose a catchphrase or slogan and using some keywords they want to associate with your brand. Don’t force you into this, take the time and brainstorm with trusted employees, friends and associates.
Now it’s time to choose a design plan
- Think about your target guests.
- Your brand needs a look that stays consistent with your brand mission and language.
- You have to decide, are you?
- Progressive and sleek
- Fun and vibrant
- Conventional and classic
- Choose the colours that will represent your property.
- Designing your logo
To rule of thumb I have is your logo should be one you’d be proud to wear on a shirt or jacket.
This look should be coordinated across all of your marketing, including; signage, website, brochures, products etc.
Make sure your employees know the importance of your brand, as well as how and why you chose the brand. Ask for their feedback:
From here on, everything your business does will be linked to your brand.
You have a new tagline, new logo, new signage, and new uniforms.
Is that it?
You have to back up your brand with a great product
If your branding message sounds incredible but you’re not able to deliver on your promises, your guests will come twice. The first and the last time.
Your marketing strategy
In the last session, we talked about your marketing strategy
The goal of your marketing strategy is to get your properties brand in as many places and in front of as many people as possible.
There are the conventional ways such as your signage, stationery, uniforms, brochures, travel publications, and newspaper.
Today it’s also imperative to have your brand’s presence on your amazing website, throughout social media and I will talk more about this in a future session.
Branding is not something to be taken lightly and I would suggest you take the time necessary to make sure your brand is exactly what you need for it to work on your property.
If you search online you can find sites and videos to help you through the branding process but if you are interested in saving time, we have 5 in-depth videos include in our “Guide to Operating an Independent hotel or Bed & Breakfast” Training Tutorials, to help you get in the right mindset.
- Your Customers Demographics
- Creating Memorable Taglines& Slogans
- Power of Colours
- Upgrading Your Logos to Better Quality Logos
- Upgrading Your Fuzzy Images
As well as an additional eBook titled “Thinking About Branding?”
One final thought
Be patient with your brand, be consistent and put people first.
Almost everyone prefers working with businesses that are people-oriented and that care about their customers and employees.
That’s it for now.
If you have any interesting stories about branding and would like to share or have any questions or feedback you can leave them in the comments section of the show notes at.
That’s it for this session of hospitality property school.
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So, as always, let’s work together to put heads in your beds.
Until next time, have a fun day.
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