Hotel occupancies are on the rise – nothing dramatic quite yet as destinations slowly reopen, but cause for some optimism. However, I get the sense that many in the industry still think we will eventually get back to normal. If normal means annual occupancy rates in the 60’s and annual average daily rates in the $130’s – sure – we will eventually get there.
It’s just that everything else could be different – from operations and staffing, to distribution and marketing, to business models and finance. To be successful, you will need to think different.
Which reminds me of the famed Apple marketing campaign, created by Chiat/Day. As opposed to me giving my opinions on the topic, let’s instead listen to Steve Jobs, who had recently returned to Apple with the intention of resurrecting the firm from death’s doorstep.
Jobs explains the importance of brand and mission and the importance of being differentiated in the minds of customers. And then Chiat/Day executed the heck out of that strategy.
I would argue that the hoteliers who think different will be the ones who flourish. My guess is that the industry may need to largely reinvent itself. Those seeking to return to the glory days of the past will likely be roadkill.
Here is his explanation of the strategy (which includes the ad at the end):
As an added bonus, here is an alternative take (and my preferred version) of the ad. This one has Jobs narrating instead of Richard Dreyfus. While Dreyfus was excellent, I have no idea why they didn’t go with Jobs – as the founder of the company, the words resonate with an authenticity and passion that makes it even more impactful.