The hotel industry in general suffered its worst year on record in 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic severely curbed travel, including business travel and vacation travel.
Prior to 2020 the hotel industry, and hospitality in general, was one of the most dynamic industries. The industry was saturated with different types of hotels and different types of hotel experiences for the customer to choose from. Hence the need for branding strategies that make one hotel experiences more important, useful and worthwhile than other hotel experiences.
As the restrictions of the pandemic are lifted the need for differentiation has arrived again as travelers look for unique experiences that add value. Hence hotels need to recreate a connection with their prospects so that they are attracted and can be identified with the hotel’s values. In the competitive hotel industry, image and values that we associate with a hotel’s brand, mean everything.
What is Hotel Rebranding?
Hotel rebranding is the process of changing the corporate image or brand of a hotel. It is a market strategy of giving a new name, symbol, colors, fixtures, environments or customer experiences to an already-established brand. The idea behind rebranding is to create a different identity for a brand, from its competitors, in the market.
What is the Purpose of Hotel Rebranding?
The purpose of hotel rebranding is to differentiate the hotel from its competitors and make it more important, useful and worthwhile to the target customers than competitors in the same market.
Hotel rebranding is used to make specific hotel properties more attractive to their customers, to increase market share, to increase revenues, to decrease costs, improve operational efficiencies, add new services, amenities or restaurants, and enhance the overall value of the property.
How Hotel Rebranding Works
The brand of the hotel is controlled by the owner of the franchise. They do the work to study the marketplace and develop the brand including changes to the name, colors, language, graphics, customer experience, hotel environments, restaurants, lobbies, room furniture and fixtures, meeting rooms, lobbies, parking experiences, etc. that they believe will make the brand more competitive in the marketplace.
Hotel rebrands and the changes that accompany them are then communicated to property owners through a specific hotel property improvement plan (PIP) developed for the unique property.
The Purpose of PIPs in Hotel Rebranding
PIPs are written by brand franchisors for franchisees to bring properties into compliance with rebranding requirements. Basically, a PIP is long-term plan to upgrade and improve a property to improve guest or customer experiences and to provide customers with the experience they expect based on the brand’s sales and marketing promises.
A good PIP can increase market share, propel revenues, defeat competitors by producing competitive advantages, boost customer satisfaction, lower costs and help improve safety, efficiency and profitability. A good PIP is a win-win for the brand, for customers, and for owners and operators.
Specific Elements of a Hotel Rebranding / PIP
Hotel rebranding PIPs can address physical aspects like mechanical systems, electrical and plumbing systems. They can include upgrades to corridors, guest room carpeting, furnishings, fixtures, wall coverings and wall art. They may require enhancements to the fitness center, business centers, lobbies, meeting rooms and ballrooms, elevator cabs, and the arrival experience. Some hotel PIPs may even include communication and security system upgrades, and reconfiguring restaurants, parking, exterior lighting and landscaping all of which can be costly.
Planning for, examining, knowing the “real” costs and negotiating hotel PIPs / rebranding efforts significantly help owners of hotels reduce their costs and increase their returns. Seek out experienced professional help, like the premier owner’s Reps at DAE Group, to help you successfully navigate this complicated journey.