Posts Tagged ‘location’

Establishing the USP of a hotel for online marketing

Saturday, November 26th, 2011

Establishing the USP of a hotel for online marketing

November 7, 2011 By

NB: This is a guest article by Martin Soler, marketing director of World Independent Hotels Promotion (WIHP).

Every hotel needs to discover what is unique about its brand and then promote heavily in its marketing efforts on the web – that statement is simple.

This is true for independent hotels, for hotel chains, individual hotels within a chain and all the way to an inn or bed and breakfast.

But establishing the unique selling point (USP), however, appears to be more difficult than many property owners think.

Before taking on a hotel as a client, we do a thorough study of the property to determine it’s unique selling point(s). Several factors are used for this, but often to the amazement of many of our customers we’re often looking first outside of the actual hotel.

Typically one thinks of USPs by comparing against the competition or hotels in the immediate vicinity.

If there is a modern decoration, a hotelier will tend to think of that as the USP. If the interior design was created done by a famous designer, many a hotelier will choose that as the USP.

But there is something which is often omitted when working out a USP: customer perception.

What is it?

What do you want your guests to see and feel when they experience a hotel – this is ultimately what a property needs to take into account when working out the online marketing USP.

Walking around the hotel and actually looking is far better than work it all out from behind a desk. Equally, working out a successful USP also means talking to guests and finding out how they felt about their experience at the hotel.

A USP needs to be something that will personally affect the life of the end user. Not esoterically, not in some far-fetched manner, but at the moment they touch the brand for the first time.

Common mistakes

The biggest mistake we’ve seen in working out the USP is to forget that it has to be something that the guest will benefit from.

Some examples:

  • Using a historical fact as a USP. That Oscar Wilde lived in a hotel is not much of a USP because it doesn’t show much benefit to the individual.
  • Focusing on interior design elements. Mentioning LED lighting or other fancy technology features as a USP doesn’t help understand the comfort.
  • Using the decoration theme as USP. That the hotel is decorated based on Marylin Monre or after the theme of cars is nice but the guest isn’t staying there to watch the theme.

Key elements of a USP

There are three factors that determine a hotel’s USP and only three.

  • Location
  • Comfort
  • Value

A good USP integrates all three elements to form a clear concept of the hotel. If a hotel is unique (and positively so) on all three points, the USP will be perfect.

But that’s rare, a property will often find one of these points is totally unique and the other two are passable.

It can often happens that only one is great and the other two are not good at all, so better for a hotel to put all its focus on the positive element, as in could actually be enough to drive people to a property.

More about location, comfort and value

Here are some examples:

  • Location – if there is there’s a direct subway to the city center or other point of interest from a property, then use it to your advantage in the messaging around the USP
  • Comfort – tell a guest how they will personally benefit from it the design and asthetics associated with the property. Essentially, a hotel needs to tell the guest how a stay will make their life better.
  • Value – how will a hotel save a guest money? This does not necessarily mean a property is cheap, but a focus on value, rather than cost. Just like the classic ad campaign by Avis “We’re only number two but we try harder.” A hotel can use it’s negative position as an advantage.

Every property needs a USP, regardless of its size, status, cost, brand – simply because guests aren’t interested in staying somewhere that will not meet their expectations.

But don’t just sit and think! Go out and look, talk to people and read their comments, monitor what they say in social media and collect feedback. Lots of it.

Once a hotel has established its USP – it is still incredible now many do not have an understanding of what it actually is – then the rest of the web marketing campaign will be a lot easier to execute.

NB: This is a guest article by Martin Soler, marketing director of World Independent Hotels Promotion (WIHP)

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Getting on the Radar: Positioning Your Destination on GPS Devices

Friday, September 2nd, 2011

Getting on the Radar:

Positioning Your Destination on GPS Devices


One of the most fun and user-friendly features about today’s GPS devices is the ability to look up restaurants, hotels, attractions, and more that are near your location. It makes life easier for the GPS user and more profitable for listed destinations.


But not every destination is listed.


That means while listed destinations can expect a stream of GPS-driven traffic, those who don’t show up on the increasingly ubiquitous devices are missing out. So what can you do to increase your odds of showing up on GPS devices? It’s easy . . . get a D-U-N-S number. It’s a free, simple way you can help ensure maximum traffic.


What’s a D-U-N-S number?

It’s a unique nine-digit identification number assigned to businesses that register with Dun & Bradstreet. Created in 1962, the Data Universal Numbering System (D-U-N-S®) number allows D&B to identify businesses based on location. More than 100 million businesses worldwide have D-U-N-S numbers.

How do GPS devices get a D-U-N-S Numbers?

A lot of GPS device manufacturers (such as Garmin) obtain their mapping information from NavTeq, an international company that physically scouts locations. The information that you supply about your business while applying for a D-U-N-S number is passed on to NavTeq and determines whether and under which category your business shows up on GPS searches.


Here’s how to register for D-U-N-S number:


  1. Go to
  2. Click the “D&B D-U-N-S Number” tab.
  3. Follow prompts to submit your registration.
  4. While you’re going through the process, you’ll be able to choose categories for your business (restaurant, tourist attraction, etc.). Be sure to choose as many accurate categories as possible. This will help your business show up under a number of different GPS searches.


You can also call 866-785-0428 to register your destination.


Anything else?

Yes. You’ll also want to make sure your business is listed with InfoUSA. They provide information to Tele Atlas, another scouting and mapping company (like NavTeq) that provides mapping data to GPS manufacturer Tom Tom. Registering with InfoUSA is free, so there’s no reason not to do it. Here’s how to register with InfoUSA.


  1. Go to
  2. Click the “FAQ” link at the top of the page
  3. Click “How can I add my business to your database?” to find out how InfoUSA adds businesses to its database.

Four Tips to Attract Younger Guests

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

Four Tips to Attract Younger Guests

1. Provide Midnight Snacks. Overall, the younger the guests the later they tend to stay out. All that gallivanting frequently leads to hunger. Staying at a hotel could mean 24-hour room service, staying at a bed and breakfast, not so much; but that doesn’t mean you’re out of the running. In fact, taking the time to leave snacks or fruits or even a loaf of sliced bread with jars of peanut butter and jelly could tilt many cost-conscious younger guests in your favor. Late night, do-it-yourself, snacks enable all guests to find late night comfort without feeling like an inconvenience. A little table top note scribbled with “enjoy,” “come back again,”or “midnight snack” will position your considerate and inexpensive treat above a late night room service delivery.

2. Ready to Jazzercise? OK, not literally but providing a way to stay in shape on the road is important to most young travelers. If your bed and breakfast has a television and DVD player in each guest room, stock a few body-sculpting DVDs; nothing with aerobics, we’re thinking abs sculpting, leg lengthening or arm workouts. Consider purchasing a resistance band or two, maybe an inflatable Swiss exercise ball, even a few pedometers you can loan out for the day, so guests may track their walking if you’re in a pedestrian-friendly town. If you’re welcoming a young family with a child stroller, consider keeping a stroll-o-meter on hand for a fun mom-specific twist.

3. Go High-Tech. Do you offer complimentary internet access? Is that clear on your listing and website? Most young travelers have smart phones and are able to check their email and surf the web on-the-go. Nowadays many travel with iPods, iPads, and a slew of high-tech gear. If you have iPod docks, for instance, make sure your guests know. If you don’t have free internet access or docking stations, take stock of what you do have. Is there a computer with internet access for guest use? Are there plentiful outlets in the room to charge the gadgets? Consider buying some spare chargers, it’ll add technology to your inn and high-tech lingo to your listing and website at a nominal cost. Take a look at – the company sells chargers that work with multiple devices, starting at $19.99.

4. Accentuate Your Location. Are you across the street from that sold-out convention? Chances are every single room at the adjoining hotel is booked and the younger, cost-conscious crowd, is looking for a great place to stay at an affordable price. You’re in luck – conventions, festivals, and special events tend to raise room costs, making your existing price even more competitive. Post a package on your website and depending on your membership, on the BnBFinder specials page. Email our PR and Marketing department who will reach out to travel bloggers who may write a story or tweet your vacancy, like we recently did with the SXSW annual music, film, and interactive conference in Austin, Texas. Sold-out happenings are a great way to get new people in the door – particularly those who hadn’t even thought of a bed and breakfast. In a panic to find a room, guests will likely turn to Google to find a room near such and such. If you belong to your area chamber of commerce, call and let them know there’s room at the inn. The more people you talk with, the better your chances of filling that room with someone new, who likely never stayed at a bed and breakfast and now has something to share with everyone else looking for a place to stay.

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