It is one of the biggest business gaps of the National Hotel Brands. A conservative mind-set that fears change when change is the only certainty we have.
Without vision, the “path is short”, the focus relies on the present moment and often lives haunted by the past. “Change has never been so fast and will never be so slow” – I believe this is the only certainty we have. However, it is sad to learn that few are aligned with the future. The Brands’ survival law will prevail, after all, and it’s not the strongest that will thrive, but the ones that best anticipate change and implement it in the present.
Differentiation is in the Concept
It is restraining to believe that a hotel’s concept only related to its decoration/architecture! It’s restraining in the sense that this formula will run out on its own, 8 months (hopefully) after opening. Increasingly Hotel Brands are following an Inbound Marketing strategy – it is necessary to create content that reaches consumers organically, appealing to the international and national media, seducing by the concept (soul), by its difference and authenticity. Today, it is necessary to have a more integrated vision in which all the project variables contribute to make a hotel unique, strengthening a concept – the soul of the project: the real reason to choose that hotel over another.
Today, the Concept is the most valuable asset of a project, it’s where the Brand’s DNA resides, where its own storytelling thrives, enabling the brand to communicate directly to its target. The real differentiation happens there, otherwise we would be only talking about rooms/suites, restaurants, bars, wellness spaces…walls, facilities, architects (common content). However, it is the Soul that touches the heart of those who choose, like, repeat and recommend us: the soul is the secret of the business, or the Concept is the businesses’ real secret – because it cannot be replicated.
The Hospitality Evolution – Strategy is needed
The best way to anticipate the future is: Co-Create. Regarding hospitality, it is extremely important to seriously study the trends that “quickly” become realities: whether technologically, holistically, and most important, enabling employees to live and breathe the concept, providing guests with the desired experience.
The Post-Covid World is governed by dynamics that won’t go away, it is crucial to leave the comfort zone, to create the most appropriate conditions to respond to a different and much more volatile reality. We can no longer open hotels just because, whether for a matter of sustainability, whether for the excess of similar offer, leaving hotels at the mercy of the price factor.
Without Strategy there is no Future!
It is valuable to study the national hotel brands, learn how each one is reacting or acting in the face of the post-pandemic effect: some are still “same old”, others have become more attentive to the international trends, and few are truly putting its effort on bringing consistency to their business model, whether by investing in new concepts that diversify their offer, or by requalifying their hotel through the specialization in the Wellness* segment, relying in a strong concept that places them on a higher level than the others, internationally.
* The Global Wellness Summit 2021, held in Boston – Nov 30th to Dec 3rd 2021– under the theme “A New Era in Health & Wellness” revealed the updated numbers of this sector which in 2017 was valued at 3.7 trillion dollars.
In 2020 it rose to 4.4 trillion dollars. For the next five years, the projection indicates that the global Wellness economy will grow by +9.9% per year, a growth rate significantly higher than the projected global economic growth (7.3% according to current IMF forecasts). As the global economy recovers from the post-pandemic shock, the Wellness economy is expected to reach $5.0 trillion in 2021 (exceeding its pre-pandemic peak of 2019), and will grow to nearly 7,000,000. 0 trillion dollars by 2025.
*Data via Global Wellness Institute.
Ana Cristina Guilherme
Hospitality Wellness Brandologist
ABC Sustainable Luxury Hospitality