Customised Hotel Experiences
- 2 min read
A constant stream of new innovations enables hoteliers to improve offerings. At the same time, competition forces us to constantly stay on top of the latest trends, developments and to find unique features to differentiate ourselves. Relying on intuition or imitation, do hoteliers unconsciously create a suffocating feature war that leads to more sameness rather than differentiation? What are guests truly looking for?
A hotel brand has not been featured on the Interbrand list of the Top 100 Global Brands since 2008. A reason for this is a lack of clear brand differentiation. Indeed, hotel guests no longer see any significant differences between different hotel brands. Consumers instead rely on price, location and online reviews as their key decision criteria when choosing a hotel. Properties have responded to this by offering new services and extras to stand out. But, as competitors do the same, this has been counterproductive; making all the players in the market more similar – not only between brands but also across star classifications. Many consumers find it hard to understand the real difference between three-star hotels and four or even five-star properties in some cases.
Guests can find interactive touch screens in the lobby with news and information about the area, tablets in rooms that can serve as personal concierges, smartphones that act as room keys, smartphone docking stations and cordless phones that can be used for VoIP. However, these new technologies add little value if they do not match the overall guest experience. A 40-inch flat-screen television only makes sense as part of a well thought through guest experience, for instance, can a guest stream movies or music on the TV from her own device? A study on ‘Hotels of the Future’ shows that mobile technologies and associated apps are increasingly important to consumers when both planning their trip and during their stay. Guests especially value when they can connect their own devices while interacting with the hotel’s virtual services.
Read the rest of Anna de Visser-Amundson’s article on Hospitality Upgrade.