Creating a strong brand for your property is critical if you want to stand out from your competitors and attract new customers. It’s not just your logo, imagery or website design. It’s all these things and more. Your brand is how you want to be perceived or positioned in the market. The vision for your business and how you want to be seen by your stakeholders and the key marketing messages you communicate to them.
The key to building an effective brand is to understand what goes on inside the heads and hearts of your customers. What are your customer real needs and wants and how does your business provide real benefits that meet these desires?
A great brand for your B&B needs to….
- Put customers first to build brand love
- Share the values of its customers
- Have a positive message
- Help reach customer’s needs and wants
- Talk to hearts not heads (real world benefits)
- Speak with one voice
- Surprise customers
Why you need a strong brand at your B&B
People make purchase decisions first on price. We all love a bargain. After price we are emotional and make purchase decisions based on how we are feeling at the time, what someone has said to us or what ad we have seen, on a whim.
Your brand needs to connect emotionally with your guests. When they stay does your property make them feel – relaxed or energised? Does it remind them of holidays they had when young, prompting nostalgia. Do they feel peaceful with your view or excited with your events? Identify the feeling and tell people that’s how they will feel if they stay there – connect emotionally.
Guests are also not that loyal, often buying from competitors as well as you. One BnB property looks much the same to another – which is why you need a strong brand to stand out.
How to develop a B&B brand strategy
Creating or re-invigorating a brand is no small task but can be done systematically following the seven steps below. Some of this can be researched online, but it’s good to include several stakeholders from the business and organise workshops to discuss each element.
1. Travel trends/market research
What are the market trends? We’ve had two years of staycation boom, followed by a cost-of-living crisis, that most observers expect to continue for much of 2023. What wider societal, political or economic trends affect your guests and business?
2. Target customers to your B&B
Identify three or four types of guests and create mini-profiles for each. These can be based on existing guests, but also include some new types if you are looking to expand. Examples might be a retired couple from Wiltshire with a dog looking to explore the UK’s best walking areas.
3. Business objectives/vision at your B&B
What do you want to achieve? Think big and long-term. Where do you want the business to go in 5 years? This could be based on development, expansion or perhaps becoming more sustainable and ethical. Or both.
4. SWOT exercise
This gives you lots of quick insight into where you can make a competitive advantage.
Strengths – what is the business great at?
Weaknesses – what could you be better at?
Opportunities – what opportunities external to the business can you exploit?
Threats – what external factors may jeopardise the growth of your business?
5. Unique selling points (USPs)
What is unique to your property or different from your competitors? A 16th century building is unique, great staff and service is not. You should be able to list three or more USPs.
6. Key messages for marketing your B&B
Using your USPs, you can start to create content (words and images) that captures your brand purpose and values. Tell your guests what are the key benefits of staying in terms of facilities and feelings they will experience. Then tell them again and again – using your marketing channels.
If you are refreshing your brand mark and logo, design a mood board to help guide you with colourways, design and logo inspiration from other brands you like or your building’s history and location. The mood board can be used to inform your logo consisting of:
- Type or word mark (name of B&B)
- Brand mark (the image part)
Pulling it all together
A strong brand will help you stand out against your competitors to capture more guests. Additionally it can help retain and attract staff.
If you want to know more about building brand, why not register for our upcoming webinar:
“The importance of a GREAT HOTEL BRAND and how you get one” on Wednesday 25th January 2023 at 11:00am – https://www.clock-work.co.uk/landing-page/hotel-branding-that-wins-guests