Pick core values and ethics
Decide what it is you want to gain from a brand unison. Do you simply want a brand name above the door? Or increased guests? Or increased revenue?
Working with a brand can bring many benefits to a hotel and hotel owner, but it can also limit the hotels manoeuvrability and many hotel owners find this frustrating. Decide exactly what you want to achieve for your hotel and stick with those values.
Brand contracts can be very long in duration and can be hard to leave if the unison is not beneficial. Consider whether it is a sensible business move for your hotel. Think whether the hotel will do better with a brand and understand fully both the possible positives and negatives of working with them.
The number one golden rule to remember is: Don’t sign. Get professional support from a company who can undertake proper research and will run a risk assessment, considering each opportunity and situation. They will then negotiate on your behalf to ensure you receive the best contract.
Read the small print
Make sure you have all the facts and know exactly what you’re signing up to before committing. Signing a contract which hasn’t been optimised for the owner can have a significant effect on a business, and as contracts are often long in duration, they need to be well considered.
Make sure you have the same goals
In some circumstances, the relationship between the owner and brand can break down because the trust has gone between the parties. This is normally due to a misalignment and often a fundamental difference of opinion on trading performance – brand-related revenue not high enough, brand-related costs too high etc – make sure you agree on your goals and aims.
Decide what you want from the brand
The biggest brands are not always the best, but it really depends on each individual case. A large amount of the decision depends on what you, as the owner of the hotel, want and what the market needs. Big metropolitan locations can benefit from a big brand unison but niche alternative brands can also offer high levels of differentiation. There are arguments for each, but, it really does come down to what the hotel owner wants for their hotel.
Join a brand or stay independent?
There are many things a hotel brand can offer a hotel owner which the hotel cannot gain from trading independently. A hotel brand can offer a loyalty programme of much more power and reach than an independent hotel can deliver themselves.
Distribution is stronger with additional exposure to new markets, which generally delivers an increase in revenue and subsequent profits. It can tap into new markets and can raise the hotel’s profile. Provided the branding is chosen well, then it effectively positions it in the right market and associates the hotel with others of a similar standing and profile.