4 useful positioning strategies for your independent hotel – Hotel-Online
Kacey Bradley | December 13, 2019
By Kacey Bradley
The people at the helm of hotel management know that the work never seems to slow down. There are always things happening in the course of daily activities, as well as events to plan and business decisions to make.
No one can do it all at once, which is why management can sometimes forget to watch the market. Keeping an eye on the market is crucial. It dictates how a hotel is doing, who its customers are and how it should sell.
In order to put your independent hotel in a more advantageous position, try these four useful positioning strategies. They will help your business compete with other hotels and be the first choice of customers.
1. Meet the needs of your guests
Hospitality is all about the people who are served by the business. If their voices are not heard, they will not respond well to their stay and will choose to go elsewhere in the future.
Meeting the needs of your customers translates directly into brand loyalty, which is much harder to achieve for independent hotels. When guests book with a chain brand, they know there is a standard they can expect during their stay. They are making a potential bet on quality by diversifying into an independent hotel.
Meet the needs of your customers, build brand loyalty and the hotel will receive positive reviews online. This translates into an increase in the number of future guests, which puts any independent hotel on the right track for future success.
2. Send feedback surveys
Another aspect of listening to what guests are saying is asking them what they thought about their experience. An easy way to do this is to create and send feedback surveys automatically after the departure of customers. Ask questions about how the staff treated them, what the standard of their room was like and if they would like something to be done differently on a future stay.
Surveys are only useful if management reads the responses and turns them into action plans. Poor interactions with staff can be corrected through regular training sessions. Cleanliness issues should be discussed immediately with the cleaning staff. Never lose a response to a survey, or your hotel’s positioning will never change.
3. Stick to the breakaway positioning
If you’ve never heard of breakaway positioning, now is the time to learn. It is defined as a marketing technique where customers recognize the brand by its characteristics, which are inherently unique compared to what is offered by competitors.
Think about what sets your hotel apart, besides being independent. If nothing comes to mind, consider new construction or renovations that will redefine your hotel. Plan to build to change something about your hotel that makes it more attractive to guests, while still meeting building codes and regulations.
4. Focus on your engagement
What is your hotel committed to? There should never be just one goal. Hotels have many people who help make it work and standards that keep the hotel running every day. Review some key features of your hotel to renew your commitment as a hotel positioning strategy.
Consider the values and standards of your hotel. This could be putting customer needs first, always offering organic menu options, or partnering with a green cleaning service to minimize your carbon footprint.
Then think about your staff, at the front and back of the house. When was the last time their voices were heard? Have they recently received any employment incentives or rewards?
Hotels should also assess the importance of their stakeholder groups, if applicable. They must be taken into account before making any changes in trade or trade policy.
List your hotel’s commitments and explain them clearly to customers on your website. The goal is to have different commitments than your competitors. Customers want to know that they respect the values of the hotel with which they are booking, which is why renewing or rethinking your commitments is a positioning strategy.
Monitor the results of the positioning strategy
Note carefully what you change to improve the positioning of your hotel. Track progress or damage caused by changes to refocus as needed. The efforts will be rewarded with a better or higher ranking than your competition, including independent and chain branded hotels in your area.