It’s not often this comes to mind, especially as most of the hotel wisdom and freedom to change would come with an independent hotel. However with the lines now being slightly blurred with soft relationships and soft brands. It dawned on me – today is the day you should be concentrating on the difference between how your seen on your brand website. And why you should also have your own website too.
So the brand site might not be something you have any power, but obviously, it needs to feature the booking engine. And information on how many rooms, location and key features of your property. Ensure that it does, because all too often guests might be booking what they think is a small or even bigger hotel. And be surprised its the exact opposite.
Also ensure you strike up a conversation that your brand delivers loyalty or rewards etc. If relevant, to drive or convert the guest that might not have been all that interested before
Similarly to the above – its important to boast about your branding and independence too so you can give the right message to all comers.
However – be sure to retain your own site and keep it up to date. With branding or not guests might still be familar with your old site, links and feel more faithful to you because of it.
Not everyone will be brand loyal, an American guest travelling might want the American brand above the door. But the doorstep customer who remembers it when it was called the City (you’re in) Hotel or Moathouse or Heritage Named Inn back in the day, might not have the same relationship.
Long and the short of this message and logic is…
Keep your guests coming and have all angles and bases covered, use both to bring people back and forth. A good example being, when they are on your own site, allow them to click through to the brand site to book, perhaps straight to the chosen room or rate section. The booking engine will be more than likely plumbed straight into your system and cost you less, so use it.
Its a confusing time for guests with brands merging, growing and or disappearing from existence, play your part and protect your identity today… love your old name and customers and embrace the new legacy.