June 17, 2015

Top 10 lessons learned by first-timers during a hospitality rebrand

Iceberg - Hospitality Rebranding

After every hospitality rebrand, we sit down and recap the brand change out project with our client’s implementation team. Inevitably, the first-timers share stories about how they never anticipated the number of details involved in changing out exterior signs, interior signs, shuttle bus branding, and all of the printed materials and lobby promotional materials you find in a hospitality rebrand.

First-timers always underestimate the amount of planning that goes into a hospitality rebrand, which is why I wanted to share lessons learned by first-timers during a hospitality rebrand:

  1. Deadline. Even if there isn’t a regulatory deadline for your hospitality rebrand, make sure to set a completion date for the brand change.
  2. Internal Rollout. Start with an internal brand rollout to get employees on board. Internal buy-in and support are necessary for a smooth external brand rollout.
  3. Branded Asset Database. Create an inventory of digital and physical branded touchpoints, with photos. Physical touchpoints (exterior signs, interior signs, vehicles, kiosks, etc.) may be “owned” by franchisees instead of corporate brand managers, which is why everyone needs to be on board from the start.
  4. Analysis. Analyze data and segment touchpoints using categories like ownership, location, exposure, visibility, and usage to develop brand treatments.
  5. Project Timeline. Map out the brand change process. If brand managers don’t own a touchpoint, get feedback from touchpoint owners. Prime guest arrival and departure times can impact the timing of airport shuttle conversions.
  6. Budget. Understand the full scope of the hospitality rebrand project before developing the budget. To ensure brand compliance, standardize specifications for brand treatments (sizes, color vibrancy, etc.).
  7. Vendor Selection. Make sure supply chain vendors are high quality, can meet deadlines and have experience with brand changes. Leverage economies of scale during negotiations for the hospitality rebrand.
  8. Communications. Keep lines of communication open with vendors and touchpoint owners throughout the brand change.
  9. Accountability. Track progress in real time to avoid missed deadlines.
  10. Planning Ahead. Update your brand touchpoint database with details and photos as work is completed. This will help with your next brand change.

My best advice for first-timers is to hire a specialist with years of hospitality rebrand experience so you don’t need to learn these lessons the hard way. Stay focused providing exceptional service to your guests, and let Implementix do the hospitality rebrand for you.