Hotel Reputation Management in the 21st Century
Last week in Zurich, TOPHOTELWORLDTOUR brought a mix of DACH hospitality decison maker together in a one day conference of networking and short panel discussions. The panel discussion in Zurich was themed ‘brand reputation in the 21st Century’
Ermano Bossi took the word “the generation to come, tend to be interested in the company behind their products. It’s not necesarely bad to have a stock exchanged hotel brand, but does your hotel genuinely take care of everything? On customer service, on sustainability? In future hotel decision this all determing question will get reflected directly in your reservations: do you fail or do you pass?
Panelist David Etmenan is responsible for the niu brand to be launched as part of the NOVUM hotel group portfolio. “Local storyboard telling is a great way to transmit authentity. Lifestyle is just one part, the local authentity is something that cannot be copied again and again and therefore adds to a real brand communication towards the customer.
We develop our niu hotels in close cooperation with experts and personal of the area. Modern customers are savvy to see when something is fake or true.”
“We believe that for bigger brands this differentiation is gonna be difficult to establish. As part of a family owned company, we envision a more experience based brand. To achieve this operationally, a structure like we have is for sure more benificial than the one of hotel brand with strict protocols.
When we started this, we were very inspired by airbnb. We very strongly believe that it’s not only the hardware: the human being in the hotel is the real actor on stage. If hotel employees do not feel at home, it will be very difficult to transmit this feeling to the guests.”
Also André Lagler works for a family owned business, Acron, with around 50 employees. Acron has projects in Chicago, Berkley, Miami, Navy Pier. San Francisco currently is a cash cow. Although André underlines the importance of A+ locations various times, he also explains this in a broader perspective, in one of their latest project: Solis Hotel Two Porsche Drive for example. Atlanta might not be a sexy location by itself, but the location chosen close to the airport and Porsche does make it attractive in the industry.
Ermano Bassi adds to the difficulty of managing and operating a hotel (brand): “the structure completely changed: the costs and rise of OTA changed, the customer changed, and security protocols are unfortunately also an issue nowadays. lead by moderator Bernhard Bauhofer, he elobarates on this. Franchise fees are in this sense a valuable asset to have this part well covered, although customers are not always aware of this. For example Hilton distributes audit reports on various fields including their global view on security topics. They’ll make sure there is a guide book to educate staff of how to handle in certain situations of potential threats and terror attacks.
Oman Isvan closed the panel discussion: “Looking at reputation management today, how sustainability marries luxury might not be a problem. In hotel construction however it is of great importance to anticipate on the demands in 10 years: a hotel matures in 7years, so at that point one must be sure that the hotel can match with the generation now in their twenties. We can already see now their differentiated awareness of sustainabily in their customer behaviour. The bigger brands will have a reputation, and with all the online publications and history of reviews, when new hotel is matured it shall have an irreversable DNA that managers and brands should be aware of.
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