A hotel’s unique selling proposition (USP) is everything. In a crowded hospitality market, having a USP is what distinguishes you from the competition and allows you to zone in on a particular customer who wants what you’ve got.
But how do you go about developing one? Where do you start? How do you even know what makes you so unique from everyone else?
In this article, we take a look at all you need to do in order to develop your hotel’s unique selling proposition.
What’s Your Competitive Advantage?
A good USP is one that has a competitive advantage over our rivals. It’s what makes us better than them. If you’re unique in a bad way – or a weird way – this won’t work.
Take a look at your closest rivals. How are they meeting the needs of their guests? What are they doing really well and really badly? This will take some research on your part, but it’s an important part of the process.
Then, compare their performance to yours. Are you already meeting certain needs better than them? Is there already something you’re doing that sets you apart? If there is, this could be what you double down on to make it even more appealing.
Who’s Your Target Audience?
Who typically books rooms with you? Who is your ideal guest?
Create a customer persona. Write down what you know about your customers and then consider why they choose to stay with you. How are you meeting their particular needs?
What benefits are they typically looking for, too? For example, do you find that a lot of couples from another city stay the night at your hotel because they’re in town to see a show?
Then, take another look at your rivals and identify how they might be meeting your target audiences needs.
Take a look at your location. What’s nearby? Are you located in the heart of the city center? Are you near a beach, near bars, near a train station?
Consider your location and then consider your target market and what would appeal to them. If your target customer is looking for a city break, push the idea that you’re located in the middle of the city – the perfect location. Then, elaborate on all the advantages that your hotel brings – you’re two minutes away from the nightlife and so on.
Alternatively, if your hotel is located in the countryside, promote the fact that visitors can go for relaxing walks in the hills before returning to the hotel for lunch.
Whatever your target audience is, cater to their needs. Paint pictures for them. Show them why your hotel is convenient and how it has exactly what they want.
Customers look for comfort no matter the price range. Even if a customer is looking at a 3-star hotel, they’ll still be looking for certain comforts. So push yours.
Perhaps, for example, you have a small hotel that has a cosy bar with a log fire. Or maybe you’ve got king sized beds designed for the utmost luxury.
Or maybe your hotel has an outdoor pool where your customers can spend their days relaxing in the sunshine.
Whatever says ‘comfort’ to you also says comfort to your visitors. So make a point of selling this particular aspect of your hotel.
Remember, customers stay in hotels that make their lives better momentarily. What is it about your hotel that makes their life better?
Vacations cost money. Sometimes, vacations cost a lot of money. As such, customers are always looking for the best deal. While your hotel doesn’t have to be the cheapest, it needs to offer value.
In other words, how are you saving guests money?
Perhaps you’ve got an added value proposition that goes over and beyond what your rivals are offering. Or maybe you offer a voucher for breakfast or an evening meal.
Or maybe you’re unique in that you have a bottle of champagne waiting for guests who are staying in premium rooms.
Consider what value you’re offering and then make it known on your website.
Your logo represents the face of your brand. Moreover, it demonstrates your values, as well as the type of hotel you are. If you’re a luxury hotel, you’ll have a vastly differently logo to a hotel that markets itself as a home away from home.
Especially online, your logo could quite literally make or break you. If you get it wrong, you might fail to attract the type of clientele you want.
If you don’t yet have a logo, or feel as though yours needs to be tweaked, you can use a tool like Hatchful to design a professional looking logo.
Test and Refine
Once you’ve come up with your USP and developed your logo, it’s time to test and refine it with a focus group of 10 target customers.
Put together a brainstorming session and then ask them how your USP compares to your rivals. Ask if it offers more value and if it offers anything different – and if so, what?
Also ask what other benefits they would like to see from you.
It’s only once you’ve developed your USP that you can start to steer your marketing campaigns in the right direction. A hotel’s USP gives your strategy cohesion and it will help you to target more of the right customers.
Develop it, refine it and keep growing.