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Four takes on the future of hotel branding

The future might be uncertain, but this much is clear: Brands need not double as distribution platforms. The power of the brands now comes from loyalty programs that keep brands top of mind in the initial booking phase.
The future might be uncertain, but this much is clear: Brands need not double as distribution platforms, said Herb Glose, assistant VP, hotel performance support, B.F. Saul Company. Those are a dime a dozen.

You don’t need a brand as an assurance of quality either, the 28-year-old said. “Part of the cookie-cutter nature of our hotels is that consistency is a mark of quality. Everybody is going on TripAdvisor.”

So why raise a flag on your hotel? In a word: loyalty, Glose said.

“I think the power of the brands now comes from loyalty and specialty loyalty programs,” he said. Those programs keep brands top of mind in the initial booking phase, particularly for points junkies seeking their next free stay or status level.

“It’s that kind of reach and penetration a brand can bring to owners that really provides a great deal of value,” Glose said. “Some of the more distribution-based brands are going to struggle, and we will eventually hit a tipping point when franchise fees and marketing fees have to be weighed against independent distribution costs and independent marketing costs.”

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