The Hotel Show’s new conference platform for 2017, ‘The Middle East Hospitality Leadership Programme’ session ‘Building Genuine Brand Identity’ explored how hotel operators can identify, anticipate, embody and communicate the key values and programmes that attract and build loyalty among their target clientele.
The session was moderated by Rupprecht Queitsch, CEO, International Hospitality Consulting Group and included the following participants: Alexander Schneider, general manager, Nikki Beach Resort & Spa; Graeme Erens, CEO, Genius Loci; and Karim Bizid, general manager, The Oberoi Dubai.
“It’s important that micro brands like Nikki Beach Resort & Spa break the mold in Dubai and can successfully compete with macro brands like the Oberoi and Marriott,” said Schneider.
“A new style of communication can help smaller brands punch way above its weight class. The past 12 months have showed that Nikki Beach is capable of competing with larger brands by doing things differently, by not adhering to the normal way of things, and by driving our brand message in a different way,” he added.
However Oberoi GM Bizid believes that the age of internet, social media, and OTAs have given hotels the opportunity to connect with its clientele in a more honest way.
Moderator Queitsch pointed out that in today’s technological savvy age, social media is also a great way to get the brand message out there.
Hoteliers nowadays need to learn to manage brand equity and brand positioning, according to Schneider. “What’s changed is that your audience now wants to associate themselves with products that are aspirational. My hotel analyses every single Instagram post before we post it online to make sure it adheres to our core values and sends across our brand message,” he added.
He added that the pre-opening team at Nikki Beach did a lot of work when it came to branding and brand equity before it opened last December.
“We wanted to be sure that everyone from the GM to the doorman knew what the brand message was,” he says.