The importance of brand strategy to hospitality businesses cannot be overstated. Fundamentally, a brand strategy is aimed at providing a distinctive, yet easily identifiable and relatable image for a business. With the right brand strategy, you are aiming to be distinguishable from the competition, yet popular with your existing and potential customers. We will explore the elements of formidable brand strategy from the playbook of some of the most successful businesses in the world today.
1. Develop a clearly defined identity: developing a brand identity starts with the mission, values, and vision of the business. These should be communicated consistently throughout the levels of the business and utilized in the formulation of policy, decisions, and operations.
2. Develop a USP: This is critical to creating a distinguishable service that delivers a unique brand experience. USP stands for unique selling proposition and represents the unique features of products, services, and results that deliver a unique customer experience. This is very important to every brand. If you do not offer anything different or unique, your brand will be caught in the clutter of other brands. Your unique selling proposition must be carefully outlined and consistently implemented. Today, Shopify stands above the competition as the market leader in e-commerce because they offer a unique proposition that others don’t. Its USP is “We help reduce the barriers to business owners to make commerce better for everyone.” In performing the task of eliminating barriers to business ownership, this company has built a powerful brand that towers above the competition.
3. Develop a consistent image: Developing a consistent image is necessary for building a brand. The expectation is for a brand to have a consistent and recognizable image. In this regard, brand image refers to logos, trademarks, colour, shape, imagery, and so on. There is not one successful brand without a recognizable image. Companies like Microsoft, Google, Coca-Cola, Nike, and every other big-brand have an unmistakable brand image.
4. Emphasize customer experience: This is closely related to developing a USP. When you have developed a USP, it is expected that you work towards shaping customer experiences around the USP. Customers will be oblivious to your USP and might care less about your goal, mission, and objectives. However, they will learn about your brand through experiences they have from coming in contact with your business. If the customer experience is unique, positive, and memorable, it will ultimately shape the business brand.
5. Leverage online presence: It is never enough to build a brand. It is equally important to communicate and show a brand to prospective audiences. Leveraging online presence is particularly important for businesses in the hospitality industry as people need to know what your business is about. Having social media accounts, and an official website allows a hospitality business to engage with prospective audiences in brand creation. It helps communicate elements of the brand
Creating a strong brand identity is critical to business success and this is particularly important to businesses in the hospitality industry. Defining your brand identity, developing a USP, and cultivating a consistent brand image would help create a solid brand. But it doesn’t stop there, as through managerial proficiency, the business must consistently and progressively improve the customer experience for brand growth. Finally, communicating, showcasing, and engaging with audiences will help strengthen the brand core, create top-of-the-mind awareness and position the brand for success.