What kind of branding strategy would you pursue for the boutique hotel, and why? What factors would you consider in making your decision? If you were to choose an individual brand, what would you name the hotel? If you were to pursue a franchise strategy, which hotel chain is most attractive to you, and why?
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Topic 1.4: Product Identification and Branding
Branding is the use of a name, term, symbol, design, or a combination of these to identify a product. Brands have become increasingly powerful in today’s business climate as they allow the product to be differentiated from others in its class. Branding also serves as an indicator of predictability to many consumers. Staying at hotels that have well-known brand names is often preferable to consumers, especially to those traveling in unfamiliar areas.
The concept of brand has moved beyond merely favorable product identification and association. Current advanced branding strategies often promote brands as ideas and lifestyle choices that also happen to be associated with products. Brands bring along many associations in customer’s minds: If you are working in an organization with a strong brand presence, it is important to understand exactly what those consumer preconceptions are, both positive and negative.
A good brand:
- Is easy to pronounce, recognize and remember
- Suggests an accurate connotation to the buyer
- Is legally protected in the U.S. and abroad
- Attracts loyal customers
- Has staying power
- Increases distribution potential
- Can be leveraged by applying the name to a product line
Transcript: What Kind of Brand to Use
When promoting multiple products in the hospitality industry, organizations should consider the different types of branding tactics to help with product identification. Learn more about the types of branding techniques that can be used.
Using a distinct brand name for each product in a company’s portfolio, rather than applying an umbrella brand to all the company’s products. The latter can lead to one brand cannibalizing another, especially if the company is a conglomerate with two or more similar products. For example, Taco Bell, KFC, and Pizza Hut were formerly all owned by Pepsico, and all served essentially the same fast-food audience.
Using a single brand name for several related products. Consumer familiarity with the brand name facilitates the introduction of new products, for example, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort.
Applying a brand name to the overall product line or group. Within each umbrella brand may be many more sub-brands; for example, McDonald’s is an umbrella brand name, while Big Mac and Quarter-Pounder are sub-brands under the umbrella brand. Advertising economies occur when several products can be advertised under the same umbrella brand.
Using a combination of brand names to enhance the perceived value of a product or to produce incremental benefits to brand owners and users. Co-branding can be used when two organizations collaborate to offer a product. Variations include:
- Co-location or brand bundling: When two non-competing brands operate in one facility. For example, a gasoline/petrol station operating with a fast food restaurant in the same location and, often, within the same building structure.
- Ingredient branding: When a restaurant mentions specific branded products on its menu. This practice is common to the restaurant business.
Well-known or franchised brands vs. private or independent brands
Consumers generally perceive well-known brands as being of high quality; thus they have the advantage of enhancing a product’s image. Private brands, on the other hand, can earn higher gross margins and build a stronger bond between the customer and the business owner. Owners exercise greater control over positioning and the intensity of distribution, and there is no risk of the franchiser dropping the brand.
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