Pricing Power: Why Building a Brand is Essential

fernando vives marketing strategies pricing Jun 04, 2024
Pricing Power: Why Building a Brand is Essential

Pricing Power: Why Building a Brand is Essential

Have you ever thought about the real impact of branding on your pricing power? In today's competitive market, the ability to command higher prices isn't just about having a superior product; it's about the strength of your brand.

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The Importance of Brand Building

If you want pricing power, you need a brand or a monopoly. The CEO of LVMH recently claimed they don't do marketing because it's against their ethos, but marketing is precisely what they excel at. They make high-quality products, but take the same artisans and materials and try to sell a $2500 handbag without the brand. Good luck with that.

For the hospitality industry, this concept is equally critical. At Minor Hotels we've developed eight powerful brands, each with a clear identity and value proposition.

Contrast this with other chains that have over 30 brands, making it difficult even for their own sales teams to differentiate and market them effectively. Can you segment your customer base so finely that you need that many brands? The challenge is real, and often, simplicity and clarity win over complexity.

Understanding Pricing Power

Pricing power is the ability of a company to raise prices without reducing demand for its products or services. In the hospitality industry, this concept is pivotal as it directly impacts a hotel's revenue and profitability. Here's a closer look at what pricing power entails and how it can be harnessed effectively.

What is Pricing Power?

Pricing power is the leverage a brand has to set prices higher than the competition while maintaining or increasing customer demand.

This ability stems from several factors, including brand strength, customer loyalty, perceived value, and market positioning. Essentially, it reflects a brand’s capacity to influence its market and drive premium pricing.

Brand Building: The Ultimate Marketing Activity

Brand building is the ultimate marketing activity. Without a monopoly, it should be your main long-term goal in marketing. It's essential for growing profits and expanding your market presence.

A strong brand not only drives higher room rates but also allows for premium pricing on ancillary servicessuch as dining, spa treatments, and experiences.

A well-established brand provides a consistent message and experience that guests can trust and are willing to pay more for.

The Process of Creating a Strong Brand

Building a brand is a meticulous process that involves several key steps. To strategically develop a brand that stands out in the competitive hospitality industry:

  1. Identifying Your Niche

The first step in brand building is identifying your niche. Understand the specific segment of the market you want to target. This involves thorough market research to uncover gaps in the current offerings. Look for underserved areas where your brand can meet an unmet need or provide a unique experience.

  1. Finding the GAP in the Market

What are travelers looking for that they aren’t finding? This could be anything from personalized service and unique local experiences to innovative technology integration or sustainable practices.

Understanding this gap allows to position the brand as the solution to this unmet need, thereby creating a compelling value proposition that attracts and retains customers.

  1. Developing the Operational Promise

The operational promise is the cornerstone of the brand. It’s the commitment we make to our guests about what they can expect from the brand. This promise should be clear, consistent, and aligned with the brand’s values and niche.

  1. Executing the Operational Promise

Execution is where many brands falter. It’s not enough to make a promise; you must consistently deliver on it. This involves training the staff to embody the brand’s values and ensuring that every aspect of the guest experience aligns with the brand promise.

The Role of Consistency in Brand Building

Consistency builds trust. When guests know what to expect and their expectations are consistently met or exceeded, they are more likely to return and recommend your hotel to others.

This consistency extends beyond service to include branding elements such as logos, color schemes, and marketing messages.

A consistent brand image and message across all platforms reinforce the brand’s identity and make it more memorable to potential customers. This, in turn, drives higher rates and premium pricing.

A Brand is More Than a Logo

A brand is far more than just a fancy logo. It's the overall perception that your customers have of your business, shaped by every interaction they have with it. Take the example of Steve Jobs and the logo for NeXT, the computer company he founded after leaving Apple.

Steve Jobs famously spent $100,000 on the NeXT logo, a significant amount those days standards. He enlisted the help of renowned designer Paul Rand to create a logo that would encapsulate the essence of the brand. Rand didn’t just deliver a logo; he delivered a complete brand identity, with a clear vision and strategic direction.

The result was a simple yet powerful logo that conveyed sophistication, innovation, and a premium quality product.

But the logo alone wasn't what made NeXT different. It was Jobs' relentless focus on innovation, design, and quality that truly built the brand. The logo served as a visual representation of these values..

Building a Brand Takes Time

Building a brand takes time, persistence, and constant repetition. Brand building requires patience to establish quality predictability in the market.

Conclusion and Final Thoughts

In conclusion, building or having a strong brand is essential for gaining pricing power and achieving long-term success in the hospitality industry. It’s not just about having a fancy logo but about creating a consistent and compelling identity that resonates with the target audience.

This involves identifying a niche, finding gaps in the market, and delivering on the operational promise consistently.

Pricing power stems from a well-established brand, allowing hotels to command higher rates and premium pricing on ancillary services.

The process of brand building requires strategic positioning, meticulous planning, and relentless execution. It’s about creating a perception of value and trust that drives customer loyalty and repeat business.

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Feel free to give a like or share this newsletter if you enjoyed it.

Until next time, keep exploring the endless possibilities of hospitality.

Fernando Vives

About Fernando Vives

Fernando Vives stands at the forefront of hospitality expertise, guiding Minor Hotels Europe & Américas as the Chief Commercial Officer. His dynamic leadership oversees a vast portfolio, including sales, revenue management and digital growth, steering a team of over 2,000 across 30 countries and managing a turnover of over $3 billion USD. Awarded as one of the Top 20 Extraordinary Minds in the industry for Commercial & Revenue Optimization Leadership, Fernando's extensive background includes senior roles at renowned hotel chains and ventures into entrepreneurship. He is an academic pioneer, an esteemed speaker, and a passionate industry advocate. Fernando's educational prowess is matched by his commitment to shaping the future of hospitality as an Ambassador for Hospitality Labs.

The views and opinions expressed in this newsletter are solely those of Fernando Vives and do not necessarily reflect those of any company or organization I work for or am affiliated with, nor those of their partners or suppliers. The data sources used are mostly public; ChatGPT may have been used for research assistance, copywriting, or editing. If you find any discrepancies or errors in the data or insights shared, please reach out to me via LinkedIn for necessary adjustments.

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