September 25, 2015

Think “One Pass” in your hospitality rebrand

Hospitality Rebrand

During a hospitality rebrand, it’s important to think about the rebrand the same way you do everyday operations. “Measure twice, cut once.” It’s been said this expression started with a kilt maker in Scotland, which appeals to my Scottish heritage. Both the literal and figurative definitions ring true for the hospitality industry. Whether it be measuring out ingredients in a kitchen or making sure a housekeeping cart is loaded with everything needed to clean a room, planning ahead and double-checking are daily routines to avoid extra work and added costs. So why should it be any different with a hospitality rebrand, where signs and vehicle graphics need to be cut and installed?

Everyone hates surprises during a hospitality rebrand, yet surprises happen all the time. They are so common that we hear hospitality rebrand teams acknowledge them early in our conversations, but lack the expertise to mitigate potential problems on their own. These knowledge gaps lead to budget overruns and missed deadlines.

Some potential surprises can be avoided, like forcing brand implementation teams to make multiple trips to the same location during a hospitality brand due to:

  • Not identifying all brand touchpoints at each location up front.
  • Not having signs, vehicle graphics, and other brand touchpoints analyzed and engineered prior to conversion work.
  • Not having vehicles available on schedule, forcing brand implementation teams to make extra trips.
  • Not having proper shelter, lighting, power, and supervision when brand implementation teams arrive (e.g., nighttime conversions of vehicle graphics on shuttle vans during storms).
  • Not synchronizing production of signs, graphics, etc. with conversion schedules, so teams have nothing to install when they show up.

We suggest hospitality rebrand teams uses the One Pass approach to avoid busting the budget and missing deadlines. The One Pass approach requires precision planning.

To get a sense of what’s involved, start by walking around a single location. For a hotel, exterior brand touchpoints include shuttle vans and busses, service vehicles, signage, and wayfinding, along with billboards and other marketing tools used to promote the hotel. Interior brand touchpoints include signage, wayfinding, rugs, guest supplies and merchandise (like towels and robes), menus, and so on. We’ve created a Hospitality Brand Conversion Checklist for you to use a guide. If you’ve never counted the number of branded assets in each hotel, the number may surprise you.

Now multiply the number of brand touchpoints at one location by the total number of locations that will be part of the hospitality rebrand. How does that number compare to your database of branded assets? The One Pass approach requires a comprehensive list of all branded assets before the conversion phase of the hospitality rebrand.

Hospitality rebrand teams need to think holistically for the One Pass approach to be effective. Just as you don’t want waiters bringing out coffee cups one at a time to guest tables, you don’t want vehicle graphics and sign installers to waste time and money making repeat trips to your locations.