Effective branding can help build your reputation, make you stand out from your competition and project your values to attract your ideal client.
Your brand is your business identity – the image you wish to portray to the world – and is one of your company’s most valuable assets. Although your visual brand identity is important, your brand is more than your logo. Your brand communicates your business personality and shapes your clients’ perceptions of who you are. Your brand should project the expectations and promises you extend to your customers in terms of quality, service, reliability and trustworthiness and create trust and loyalty from those who do business with you.
A strong brand identity helps your guests differentiate you from your competitors and can positively influence their purchasing decisions, resulting in more bookings to your property.
But there are several myths and misconceptions that small business owners believe that can get in their way of developing a strong brand identity.
Myth #1 – We can design our brand ourselves
We have all experienced the effects of a do-it-yourself brand. What do you think when you are handed a self-printed, black and white business card? What happens when you get to a website that looks home made? People will judge your ability to provide the guest experience they are requiring. Don’t risk turning away potential guests with an unprofessional brand.
Myth #2 – We can’t afford to have a professional brand developed
Having your company brand professionally designed costs money, but it may cost your business more if you do not have a high-quality, visual identity. The visual representation of your identity is something that takes a skilled resource. Creating a logo that is not aligned with your vision, values, target audience and positioning could cause confusion in the market. For example, if you provide quality guest accommodation with attention to detail and a spotless venue , your lack of attention to detail in your brand will send a conflicting message to your guests
Myth #3 – We don’t need a brand
Since more people search for rooms online, you absolutely need a quality visual identity for your web presence. How do you represent your property without one? And whether you have developed a professional brand or not, your business has a brand. Your company name, how you deliver on your promises and what your customers say about you when asked creates an impression of what it is like to do business with you - that is your brand
You can let it be developed for you through online customer reviews or your competition, or you can take control and manage it to your advantage. Your choice.
Makes your company look bigger
When prospects see a professional brand consistently used on your business cards, website or social media profiles, they get the image of a property that is worth a stay. They will also expect to pay more for a more polished brand and property. If you hand them a home made business card or your web presence is unprofessional, they will think you are small and it will devalue the cost of your room nights and you may also attract the wrong target audience.
Builds loyalty and trust
One of the ways you can separate your business from the competition is to have a unique brand that differentiates you in the marketplace. A strong brand that conveys your values builds an emotional connection with customers, which will attract them to your business if they share the same values. This type of connection makes it easier for you to develop a long-term relationship with those customers, leading to greater customer loyalty.
You may be the best, most experienced accommodation operator in your field, but no brand or a self created brand conveys an impression that the business won’t last. A brand helps you develop an image for your business that says “I’m here to stay”. A well-defined brand identity projects a long term feel to those who see it regularly. E
Makes your business memorable
Developing a brand identity and using it consistently helps customers remember who you are. The more your guests see your brand, the more likely they will contact your business for information. Every time you get to interact with your guest, you have a chance to make a connection and create a memorable brand experience.
Has your business taken control of its brand identity?