Truth or consequence: Building brand image

“Nothing is possible without facts… a world without facts means a world without truth and trust,” said journalist Maria Ressa, who recently won the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize. And as the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson acutely noted during the crisis, the recovery would be determined by data, not dates.

Truth is synonymous with facts and data. It’s objective and transparent. But in a world that’s increasingly flooded with misinformation from unreliable sources, the truth can become distorted and flawed. Herein lies the power of echo chambers to reinforce unfounded speculations; you’d have a hard job convincing a Flat Earther other wise.

The psychological impact of the past 19 months cannot however be overlooked. Sensitivity to personal values and beliefs, as well as those of others, have intensified. In many ways, consumers are more discerning and the knock on effect this will have on brands could ultimately improve or damage reputation.

For hoteliers, brand image has perhaps never had a more vital role to play. Those that made redundant marketing teams in the early days will be struggling to make up for lost time compared to those who continually engaged and communicated with their guests. The sad reality is that some databases of existing, loyal guests have largely been sidelined and neglected. Throw in to the mix fierce competition, where high levels of supply currently outweigh that of demand, and the loyalty dilemma presents itself.

Discounted rates and bundling deals may well serve to capture bookings, but is it enough to convert a fleeting visit into repeat business? Where do the opportunities lie to build long-lasting relationships with potential guests?

Think beyond marketing strategies. What does your guest truly value? Importantly, how do the values of your own business sync and align with these? Understanding what makes your guests tick is imperative to driving lifetime loyalty – all of which can be uncovered in the data. 

Dex Hunter-Torricke, former communications executive at Google, Facebook and SpaceX, will explore the above and more in the Truth, Trust and Loyalty session at HIX on Friday 19th November. Hosted by Boutique Hotel News, we will uncover what it takes to build community and brand transparency. Register to attend here.