Top 5 Reasons

why having a brand strategy is an important first step to creating a successful boutique hotel.


Brand Strategy is the foundation and roadmap for all your brand decisions moving forward. But before we get into the top 5 reasons why brand strategy is an important investment for the future of your boutique hotel, let's define what a brand is, and is not.

A brand is not a logo.

A brand is not a corporate identity system.
It is not a product.

Brands are created by customers, not by companies, marketing teams, or ad agencies.

A brand is a person's gut feeling about a product, service or company.

In other words,
~ Marty Neumeier

Brand Strategy

Brand Stategy is an investment for the long-term success of your hotel, including customer loyalty, internal culture, and a strong community.

Branding should not be managed as a subset of marketing.
A tactical function (marketing) should never control a strategic one.

1. The goal of brand strategy is to get more people to buy more stuff for more years at a higher price.
It is an overall plan that increases your hotel's value, and weaves together your business goals.

Getting a brand strategy done for your hotel is critical for your success.

The process provides alignment and clarity for your hotel’s 

purpose (why your hotel exists beyond making a profit, and why it matters)
vision (what does your brand want to accomplish)
mission (how is the brand living the purpose to reach its vision)
goals (what defines success and how do you measure it) and
core values (which grow from core purpose and are the fundamental beliefs that drive brand behaviours)

Brand strategy drills into the essence of your hotel’s DNA, extracts the salient attributes, alchemizes the heart (magic) and the brain (logic), and delivers the golden nuggets that you always knew were there, but could never surface and articulate. The facilitation process is akin to (brand) therapy. 

The value of what you offer to the world increases, you attract (pull rather than push), and you don’t have to compete based on price alone. You will gain a loyal tribe of customers and staff. Once you know what sets your brand apart, it’s much easier to find your place in the market, and in people’s minds and hearts.

2. It defines the core purpose of WHY your hotel exists.
Have an articulated, inspiring and relevant purpose for your hotel. But also walk the talk. It's easy to spot purpose-washing.

Core purpose is not a marketing strategy. It is not a financial target. Core purpose is not a PR story. It is also not a promise to investors. 

Your core purpose is your WHY, your northstar. It is why your hotel exists beyond making a profit, and why it matters to anyone. 

What is your hotel’s relevance to society and what value does it create? How does your hotel matter? How are you helping people, communities, and the world?

Without a strong purpose, leaders and employees can lose their way. It is the foundation that fosters culture, and determines what your hotel stands for, and how you act. It is where your beliefs and values stand on, and these in turn drive brand behaviours.

A company’s culture, mission, vision, core values and goals all flow from purpose. Without a purpose, there’s no compelling reason to work for one hotel over another, other than receive a paycheck.

And lastly, your hotel’s core purpose has to match the identities of who your customers are – their needs, desires and expectations; because without customers, you don’t have a hotel.

Your hotel’s purpose has the potential to unify, align, and engage everyone.

3. Attracting and retaining your ideal customers and employees – your people, your tribe.
"When you speak to everyone, you speak to one." ~ Meredith Hill

Customers are key players in your brand. Without them, there is no brand.

Loyal customers are also willing to promote your brand to their friends. They’re happy to contribute content, and even sell. 

In a very real sense, customers are co-leading your hotel.

People don’t like being sold to; they want to buy, and they buy in tribes.How do they choose to belong? What are their rules, beliefs, habits, likes and dislikes?

Do you truly know the needs, desires and expectations of your customers?

Who are they? Who do they dream of becoming? 

What obstacles stand in their way? What do they want to get done? 

What emotional and social benefits would they like to receive? 

How can you empower them to become the person they dream of?

“Brands that participate in the identity transformation of their customers create passionate brand evangelists”.   ~ Donald Miller 

4. Finding your unique differentiation and disrupting your category.
Your goal is to become "the one and only" choice.

“The purpose of positioning is to reduce or eliminate competition” ~ Blair Enns 

The reason why you do brand strategy and why you even have a brand is to have a positioning in people’s hearts and minds. 

Our brains are hardwired to notice what’s different.

  X  X  X  X  X  X  X  X  X  X  X
X  X  X  X  X  X  X  X  X  X  X
  X  X  X  X  X  X  X  X  X  X  X
X  O  X  X  X  X  X  X  X  X  X
  X  X  X  X  X  X  X  X  X  X  X
X  X  X  X  X  X  X  X  X  X  X

The path to owning a category is simple – be different.

Don’t add to the clutter.

Make your product or service the ONLY in its category.
Customers can more easily see what’s different than what’s better.

“When everyone zigs, zag”. ~ Marty Neumeier

5. Humanizing your brand and giving it a personality.
People don't fall in love with companies/organizations. They fall in love with personalities.

Brand personalities help hotels shape the way customers and employees feel about them. They give your audience something they can relate to and connect with. 

People relate to people.When someone has a great personality, people are naturally drawn to them. Same with brands.

So think of your hotel as a person. How does it look, how does it talk, how does it behave? What makes you unique? This will draw your tribe, your people, to you.

Your hotel personality drives your messaging, visual identities, interior and architecture space.

How does your hotel sound like if it was person speaking. If your hotel is a person, describe them. What makes you unique?

When the hotel’s core purpose and personality are aligned with your customers and employees, they will go beyond being merely a customer and an employee; they become true fans.

Schedule a free 20-min, no obligations call with us,
to find out how our brand facilitation services can help you build a successful, differentiated, purpose-driven brand for your independent / boutique hotel.