September 5, 2014

Top 4 hospitality rebranding tips

We’ve worked on quite a few nationwide hospitality rebranding projects for both corporate-owned and franchisee-owned properties. While the brand management procedures may vary between the two business models, hospitality rebranding best practices are still the same. It’s all about visibility!

24ft Mini Shuttle Bus Heavyv2 24ft Mini Shuttle Bus Med Heavyv2

24ft Mini Shuttle Bus Med Litev2 v2

As a brand implementation firm, we typically get involved with hospitality rebranding after a design firm creates the design system. Our clients ask us to review the proposed brand treatments to make sure the designs will work in the field. For example, if a hotel brand has different sized shuttle vans, will the brand design work on shuttles with 4, 6 or 8 windows on each side? We also provide feedback from an engineering standpoint, since brand treatments affect cost, speed, and brand exposure during a hospitality rebranding.

It’s critical to understand how each hospitality brand touchpoint is used and design accordingly. A few tips follow:

  1. Personality: Your airport shuttle vans need to stand out from your competitors. After a long flight and searching through similar looking luggage to find their own bags on the baggage carousel, your guests don’t want the hassle of searching for your shuttle van among all of the other shuttle vans. Make sure to pick distinctive, colorful, highly visible brand treatments that will make life easier for your guest. Frustrated travelers unable to find your competitors’ shuttle vans may book a room with you during their next trip just to avoid the airport hassle. And the shuttle vans get noticed driving down roads and freeways to and from the hotel.
  2. Visibility: During a hospitality rebranding, make sure exterior signage is visible from a distance for guests driving to your location. It’s easy for guests to get lost in a new city. Ensuring the brand treatment on signage uses colors, images or lighting adds to your brand’s visibility for weary travelers.
  3. Consistency: Brand management needs to focus on consistency during a hospitality rebranding. You would be surprised how often local managers or franchisees circumvent corporate brand management practices to save money or customize their touchpoints. During some hospitality rebrandings, we’ve removed van graphics with images of people, illustrations, and pictures of rooms that not only didn’t relate to the core brand, but were so badly executed they hurt the overall corporate brand.
  4. Vibrancy: Going big with color on touchpoints that are highly visible is a key to capturing a return on your hospitality rebranding investment. Neutral colors, especially white, will minimize impact and cause your brand to fade into the background. If cost is a concern, assess your touchpoints based on exposure to your target audience. The more visible the touchpoint, the more vibrant the brand treatment. Check out the difference in how the Implementix brand looks on shuttle vans using high, medium and light coverage treatments. Cost-conscious brands can go big on color for highly visible touchpoints, and use less expensive medium or light coverage treatments for less visible touchpoints.

I’ll end my hospitality rebranding tips with a quote from one of my favorite movies, Airplane. While “the white zone is for immediate loading and unloading of passengers only,” the white background zone on airport shuttle vans should be avoided.

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