Creative marketing for luxury boutique hotels: Defining and living the brand

Creative marketing for luxury boutique hotels: Defining and living the brand

My last blog focused on how to assess your boutique hotel’s position in the marketplace. The goal is always to improve your position in the marketplace and your perception in the eyes of current and potential customers. So, now that you’ve considered where you are and where you want to be, let’s turn to how to get there.

The simplest way to rebrand your hotel is to look at who your customers are and what they like about you. Focus your time and money where it matters — magnify the attributes your customers respond to, and dilute or eliminate those that they don’t. Then use those positive features to redefine your brand. No matter how large or small the shift is, the key is to use the “new” or rebranded concept as a measuring stick for ALL marketing, service protocols and communications — both direct and indirect —with your guests. This is what is referred to as truly “living the brand.” When a team of marketers, managers and line staff are all on board with this concept, an amazing thing happens: Your guests will take notice and begin to market for you. 

To live the brand is to be authentic. Never promise anything through marketing that you are not. For example, if you decide to host wellness programs for a week, you’d better be promoting a healthy lifestyle year-round. Offering programs and packages that you truly believe in will inspire a level of confidence from your customers that will lead to guest loyalty. They will believe that whatever you say you are going to do will be done well. Therefore, even if they cannot make your “Fall Harvest Wine Pairing Dinner,” they will recommend it to their friends. And those friends are likely people who are not already in your e-mail database. Such valuable word-of-mouth referrals are not based on discounts and deals, but on your brand promise. 

You can reinforce your brand promise through small ads, e-mail newsletters and partnerships, along with in-house marketing and guest loyalty programs. These will remind customers who already like you why they like you, and inspire them to spread the word. I’ll explore these more in my next blog, which will focus on creative, low-cost marketing strategies that promise great results. I hope you’ll tune in!