By David Shoemaker I.
Managers in the hospitality industry should understand marketing and branding. Hospitality marketing prepares future managers with the knowledge needed to ensure that their company, whether it is a well established hotel or a new restaurant, understands the way consumers think. This is extremely important, because the consumer drives the hospitality industry. Understanding the mind of the consumer and why they make the purchasing decisions that they do can prove to be lucrative. It’s useful to know what role marketing and branding plays in those decisions and how you can make it work for you. Many hospitality management training courses discuss marketing and branding as a way to improve the company or brand you may work for.
As some experts discuss in hospitality management training courses, brands have something known as “equity.” Brand equity is when consumers associate that brand with positive and favorable feelings. A brand’s reputation and goodwill adds value to the company. Sometimes, this added value can be worth more for the company than the actual physical assets the company is worth. This is why sometimes new products are released under well-known and well-established brand names.
It gives more comfort and reliability for the consumer to trust and try the new product. This is true for the hospitality industry, for example when new hotels are often represented under one same brand name. While learning about hospitality marketing you begin to understand why these people trust these brands, which is something known as brand loyalty.
Brand loyalty is when a consumer insists on continuously buying one particular brand of a product. They stick with that brand for a long period of time and will choose it over any other similar brands, even if the unknown brand costs less. Although being in that position is considered extremely successful in hospitality marketing, it has recently become increasingly difficult to gain loyal consumers. This is due to two causes, one being that brands within the same category have become increasingly similar. The second cause is that sales promotions and lower priced deals are being offered constantly by different brands- making it difficult for consumers to just stick with one brand because they can get a better deal. However, if the quality of a brand is consistently great and no other brand can offer the same, there is a great chance that consumers will be loyal.
This can lead to what experts and marketing professionals in hospitality marketing describe as a “master brand.” The master brand is a brand that is so dominant in consumers’ minds that they immediately connect it with an entire product category. Branding and marketing is extremely important in getting brands to this position. Even if your brand doesn’t reach this level of recognition, there are ways to be successful at marketing it for effective results. For example, good branding can be valuable when you have an easily identifiable brand, whether it is through the name or trademark.
As mentioned previously, another way to be successful at hospitality marketing is through consistent quality and service. As some hospitality management training courses explain, branding is also successful when the location is convenient. There are always better approaches, methods, and techniques to use to make your brand better and increase equity, loyalty, and recognition for the consumer and branding can be a big part of it. These are key concepts to remember and put into practice to establish a successful career in hospitality.
About the Author: David Shoemaker is Vice President of Learning Solutions and Innovation at eCornell. For more information on hospitality management training, hospitality marketing, or eCornell, please visit http://www.eCornell.com
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