If you do one thing thing this year, double down on your hospitality brand.

Your hospitality brand is your unique style of taking care of guests (both internally with your team and outwardly with guests) and it's the single most valuable asset *fully in your control* that deserves attention, resources, and in some cases serious course corrections. Remember, Quality Branded IP stands the test of time.

I just got back from Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic staying at LMejias LMejias property Fixie Lofts who has done a model job of doubling down on their hospitality brand from scratch (they restored the building from the ground-up).

But you don't need to restore a historic building to double down on your hospitality brand in 2023. Your hospitality brand is the sum of the things you (and your teammates) do, say, and think both when interacting with guests and internally or alone. This sum is your brand! Here are some tips and deep-dive threads to provide inspiration...
  • Inject "lifestyle brand" vibes into a new photography or trade influencers for them to take lifestyle branding pics (Thread)
  • Add a new budget line item to hospitality gestures, arguably the best branding you can buy (Thread)
  • Convey "Character" more with property owner stories, "thinking like a local" snippets, and newsletter launches (Thread)
  • Incentivize your team to freestyle (Thread)
Some of you are already doubling down on these things: do more of it! Others aren't giving their hospitality brand enough attention...time to get serious!

2023 will probably bring more change to the STR industry than any year prior but those who are building quality branded IP are best positioned to ride the wave on their terms.
 
Thank you Matt!

It is not always about financial muscle, but about character.

Our nearest competitor is a chain of high end villas, where butlers serve you breakfast.
We could not compete with that level of hospitality.

So we focused on being genuine, on a "less is more" approach. Humble, simple, small but tasteful.

Our space was built from local natural materials, instead of marble from Italy.

A Fodor's editor stayed in both spaces, and revealed to us "What do I care about a German piano from XIX? The place looks like a museum".

Their project is owned by a wealthy industrial local family. We are a couple of creators who used to travel independently, and so are our guests.

This is just to say that you don't need expensive amenities or a German piano to show style.

When L'Officiel Paris, the quintessential luxury magazine, featured our space, I realized that there's a new luxury that does not rely on marbled floors.

However, we have just started and still need to implement lots of MK gestures.
 
I guess my issue with branding is that it feels like a marshmallow. It's a little hard to get a real concept of, and I can't quite put a finger on something concrete. And then how do you express it? Develop a set of words that are used repeatedly to portray a concept? Offer reviews that support the concept? Branding feels borderless to me and changeable. I know I'm missing the point, but I'm just not sure what it is!
 
I guess my issue with branding is that it feels like a marshmallow. It's a little hard to get a real concept of, and I can't quite put a finger on something concrete. And then how do you express it? Develop a set of words that are used repeatedly to portray a concept? Offer reviews that support the concept? Branding feels borderless to me and changeable. I know I'm missing the point, but I'm just not sure what it is!
Branding is everything you do to accomplish two things:

1) Strongly define yourself within the minds of your customers and prospective customers - What are you about? What customers do you serve? How do you serve them?

2) Differentiate you from your competition (and any and everything else), such that no one would mistake you for another entity, or not recognize you in a future encounter. Put another way, are you distinctive and memorable? And how can you make yourself more so?

You're quite correct when you say branding is borderless. It can and should encompass everything that you do.

It's not just words. Part of our brand is that we take great care of our guests. And we go so far as to state that in our marketing "We take great care of our guests!" There's nothing ambiguous about that. But then we also actually do that. Especially if they need us. It's so much more than just words. It informs and affects everything we do, and how we do it. For example, our homes are better prepped and equipped than the norm in our area. And if there's anything a customer needs or wants, we never say "We don't do that," we simply get it done. That's all part of our brand.

Branding is changeable? I suppose that this is true as well... one can change their branding, but it's not a good idea unless there is something wrong with it in the first place. For branding to help make you memorable, it has to be consistent. This allows the messages that convey your branding, and ultimately you (your business) to become familiar, remembered and recognizable.

Branding is NOT like your underwear! It shouldn't be changed frequently!
 

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