As a luxury hospitality marketing agency, our mission is to reach high net-worth consumers across multiple, targeted mediums to convey a message of luxury and leisure. With that concept in mind, our leading marketing professionals build strong brand awareness and emotional connections between client and consumer, particularly affluent consumers with expectations of perfection.
According to recent research from the Digital Luxury Group, global consumer interest in the luxury hospitality industry increased 7.7% from July 2013 through July 2014. The research goes on to state:
The most searched-for hotel groups remain major global chains including Hilton Worldwide, Starwood Hotels and Resorts, and Hyatt Hotels. As Sadigh explains, these chains are boosting their portfolios in growing markets where heightened brand awareness will lead to increased bookings when travelers leave home and stay abroad.
Evidence of the importance of brand recognition is the increasing popularity of Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts. The brand recorded the largest increase, 20 percent year-over-year, likely given its prominence in Asia where interest in luxury hotel experiences are also increasing.
Augment Brand Awareness with Audience Appreciation
In order to cultivate and nurture strong brand connections with a target audience, hoteliers and hospitality marketing agencies must develop a profound appreciation for that audience. By becoming more attuned to the predilections and preferences of hotel guests and future potential guests, proprietors can build stronger, longer lasting relationships and assure repeat bookings.
Gallup recently conducted their 2014 Hospitality Industry study, analyzing six segments of the hotel market – luxury, upper upscale, upscale, upper midscale, midscale, and economy. Based on their findings, hospitality marketing agencies and hoteliers can adjust and modify their plans.
Engaged Customers and Pricing
While marketing agencies tout engagement as a strategy to boost bookings, the Gallup research found that engagement and brand advocacy differs greatly based upon market segment. For example, customers of luxury hotels are far more engaged with the hotel brand and will not only pay more to stay at that particular luxury hotel, but are overall less sensitive to price because of their emotional connection with the brand.
Economy guests tend to be the least engaged and spend less then any other market segment.
Audience appreciation in order to attract new customers begins with that guest’s first stay. According to Gallup, when luxury and upper upscale guests select a hotel for the first time, creating the right environment is vital to winning them over. This goes far beyond hospitality marketing and delves into hotel design, hotel staff, hotel quality – all of the aspects that feed into the feel and atmosphere of your luxury hotel.
Gallup found that upscale consumers acknowledge recommendations from friends, while upper midscale guests prefer family member recommendations. Midscale and economy guests rely on hotel website information as well as brand reputation (reviews and testimonials).
In order to turn first time guests into repeat customers, Gallup points out the important of building a personal relationship with guests. Price is not as much of a factor as one might imagine, particularly for luxury hotel guests. The atmosphere and feeling that a guest experiences while their stay at your hotel greatly influences whether they will return. Service reliability, responsiveness and the ability for hotel staff to solve guest problems expeditiously are key elements in turning first time guests into repeat customers.
While economy guests also value these details, price remains the top-deciding factor when rebooking.
Hotels in every market segment tend to be guilty of ‘gold plating,’ or providing, even adding, services that go to increase overall costs but do not increase the overall guest experience or guest satisfaction. In appreciating your audience, understand that luxury hotel guests strongly agree with eliminating the hotel retail shop as well as luggage services. This market segment audience would also be willing to pay much more for improved Internet services, more comfortable beds and more responsive staff members.
It is also important to note that luxury guests strong agree that they would pay more for improved bathroom soap products.
Luxury hotel guests are meticulous and tend to trust their own, personal experiences with hotel brands over digital recommendations or online reputation. Tone and atmosphere make all the difference. According to Gallup, luxury guests who perceive a hotel lobby as energized and enthusiastic are more likely to rebook with that brand.
For more information on strategies to understanding your audience, contact Quaintise today.