Customised Hotel Experiences

12 November, 2015
  • 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.


About the author

Anna de Visser-Amundson

Anna de Visser-Amundson, Research Fellow in Consumer Choice Behaviour, obtained her Bachelor's Degree in Switzerland and her Masters Degree in Marketing from the VU University in the Netherlands. Before embarking on an academic career, Mrs. De Visser-Amundson held management positions in both multinational hotel companies and in independent operators in France, United States, Ireland and the Dutch Caribbean. Triggered by the motivation, self confidence and eagerness to learn of many of her Hotelschool interns during her time as Sales and Marketing Director, Mrs. De Visser-Amundson was delighted to accept a position as Senior Marketing Lecturer at the Hotelschool The Hague when she relocated with her family to the Netherlands in 2008.

In summer of 2013, she became a Research Fellow in the research group Strategic Pricing & Revenue Management. She finds great strength in being able to combine her commercial hospitality background with academic insights both when it comes to working with students but also in research. Understanding the challenges and the opportunities in running a hospitality business by 'having been there', gives her a perspective to the research that is difficult to apply if you have not experienced it yourself. Driven by her sales background to get "heads in beds", where understanding the consumer choice process is key to make the deal, Mrs. de Visser-Amundson is particularly interested in how hospitality companies can differentiate their offerings by means of customization, its effect on consumer choice, consumer experiences, perceived value and willingness to pay.

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