How to Grow Exposure & Revenues through Hotel Branded Products
While branding the touchpoints guests encounter throughout a property is no new concept, ever-changing policies and regulations can sometimes narrow the possibilities. Hoteliers should regularly explore onsite branding opportunities to market their property throughout the entire customer experience appropriately.
Consumers are now coming to expect, if not demand, limited contact during the hotel’s check-in process and throughout their stay. If done well, boutique and international hotels can enhance the guest experience through commercial products that elevate the brand’s identity.
Many boutique and international hotel marketing managers tend to see only one side of brand exposure and awareness. We will seek to illuminate a few additional perspectives and advantages of extending the brand identity across multiple customer touchpoints. We will also discuss opportunities to sell some of these products for added profit and exposure outside of the destination.
- Exposure & Brand Awareness – The most obvious opportunity for supplemental exposure is branding products like toiletries, coasters, and water bottles. However, consumers interact with many other items that can serve as tools to increase brand awareness. Spa products, lotions, candles, and robes are great examples because guests not only use them during their stay but often bring them home where friends and family members are exposed to them as well. Alternatively, branded merchandise like tote bags, sunglasses, and photos of the hotel or destination are great conversation starters. When a friend or family member sees one of these items, it creates an occasion for your guest to talk about the trip, your hotel, and the experience you provided them.
- Education & Signage – With COVID, we have to regularly evaluate how to direct guests throughout the property in new and unique ways. Placards, iPads, digital directories, and other innovative approaches are needed to guide guests. To inform customers and provide peace of mind, signage that educates and reassures them on current safety precautions and cleanliness protocols is essential. Physical and digital signage, along with hand sanitization stations, are opportunities to further expand your brand identity by including any badges or seals that validate your practices and quality of service.
- Brand Affiliation – Beyond another impression of your brand, ensuring your logo is on products like hairdryers, robes, sandals, notepads, and other items guests use is a great way to affiliate your name with other quality brands. Associating your logo with quality, recognized brands that consumers hold in high regard is an easy way to enhance the customer journey and upgrade the perception of their experience at your property. While it certainly might take more time to build these relationships with the brands, it can be worth it when you leave an impression on guests who influence like-minded individuals in their personal and professional spheres.
- Sell for Profits – Many boutique and international hotels don’t explore how to monetize their brand equity and reputation to the extent that they could, or should. While promotional products are often seen as low-value trinkets, the industry has come a long way with a variety of first-rate services and products to offer hotel networks and their guests. Additionally, by ordering high-quality products for your guests while they’re on property, they may highly enjoy the experience and desire to take the robe, slippers, sunglasses, bathing suit, or other products back home or to their next destination.
Based on our experience with boutique hotel and international property marketing, we have put together an initial list of products, while not comprehensive, to consider when looking to expand onsite branding. If you have recommendations or other items you feel should be added to this list, please comment or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Property Products to Brand
- Entryway stands for guest check-in — consider going digital (e.g., GuestFriend)
- Hand sanitizing stations
- Signage — property or specific
- “Do Not Disturb” signs
- TV screens in lobbies and common areas
- Water bottles
- Spa products
- Embroidered pillowcases
- Dental care products
- Welcome/Sanitization bags
- iPad menus for food and beverage
- To-go and laundry bags
- Hand sanitizing wipes
- Pads of paper
- Shirts, tanks, and other clothing
- Mints or chocolates
- Face masks
- Ringed binders
- Conference room table blotters
- Table tents
Products to Brand and Sell
- Framed or rolled images of your hotel and destination
- Tote bags
- Spa products and other toiletries
- Hand sanitizer
- Pet bowls (at pet-friendly hotels)
- Power supplies — business or adventure
- Face masks
- Luggage tags
- Brochure holders
Depending on your location, destination, or experience, the above list may vary, but there are always abundant possibilities for brand extension. If you would like to explore these opportunities for your organization, I invite you to connect with our team and creative director. Together, we can discuss how to enhance your brand exposure and affiliation through profitable merchandising.