For many years, the concept of establishing a strong reputation for a hotel brand focused primarily on activities on the properties. From concierge services to ensuring that a property is clean, many hotels are continually seeking new ways to please guests while they are in the “stay” portion of their booking/travel cycle.
But today, with the rise of mobility, this has all changed.
Hotel brands now have the opportunity to meet and exceed guests’ needs in a mobile environment, which translates into finding key touch points throughout the entire booking and stay cycles. In terms of the big picture, reputations are either made or broke in the mobile arena.
In other words, a hotel can establish the right PR strategies through virtually every guest-facing technology, according to Hamish Dodds, President and CEO of Hard Rock International.
“From a brand point of view, mobile devices can very quickly define your brand,” said Dodds at recent HICAP event. “The future is even more uncertain as driverless cars, keyless entry, luggage delivered by robots, dinner and room service delivered by drones, and all the systems in the room programmed to meet guests’ needs will affect a brand’s reputation.”
Of course, meeting and exceeding guest needs while on property – along with traditional PR efforts – will still play a key role in enhancing a brand’s reputation. However, with multiple guest touch points now emerging, every innovation effort has to be aligned with a larger PR strategy.
For many larger brands, this is a challenge because of leadership challenges, and the slow adoption of new reputation enhancing innovations and strategies.
We are in an era where the status quo will no longer work for hotel brands. Those hoteliers who realize – and actively develop the right PR strategies that permeate through every guest touch point – will rise above the pack.
By re-educating the business and seeking reputation-enhancing innovations that actually please guests, the most nimble hoteliers will win the war for brand loyalty among guests.