Why Should Guests Pick You? Your Hotel Value Proposition
The fundamental question you must answer in your guests’ mind is, “Why should I pick you?” Wherever they’re seeing your hotel – an OTA, your website, a billboard, an online ad – your hotel value proposition must be strong. Your website, of course, should be a strong focus as it is your gateway to direct bookings.
The value proposition is one of the most overlooked aspects of hotel marketing, but it plays an important role. With today’s focus on ‘experiences’ and marking your hotel as unique, it’s a key part of persuading guests to book.
If your hotel value proposition is weak, you’ll be as unique as a self-help paperback in a bookstore, and risk blending in to the milieu of identical chain hotels. Many potential guests will pass you over, or simply forget they saw you.
A strong hotel value proposition, on the other hand, tells guests what makes you special and unique: it tells them why you’re the perfect match for them.
Here are our best tips to create a hotel value proposition that launches you above your competition and lands you more direct bookings.
What Is A Value Proposition?
Firstly, what exactly is a value proposition? It isn’t simply a list of features. A value propositiont sits at the intersection of what you have to offer, what your target market wants and needs, and what the marketplace as whole is offering.
Your value proposition specifically states the benefits you provide to your guests, and how you provide them. It describes your ideal guest, what value you provide for guests, and why guests should ditch the competition and choose you instead.
Your value proposition is not a slogan, it is not a positioning statement, and it is not a catch phrase. It’s something more than that – it’s why and how your hotel is a solution to your guests’ needs.
What Makes A Good Value Proposition?
No two value propositions will be the same. The majority, however, have similar elements to effectively convey information to customers. These include:
1. A Clear Headline
This is usually the main benefit being offered or the biggest problem you’re solving for guests. Either way, it has to quickly hook attention. Your headline is the first thing that hits your guest’s eyes when she hits your website, and it quickly decides whether she’ll continue investing time and attention.
2. A Visual Element
Images are powerful communicators. Be sure to include images that reinforce your message. These might be images of specific elements of your hotel (the banquet hall for weddings, the grounds for your homepage, etc.), or seasonal images.
3. A 2-4 sentence paragraph
This includes specific details of what you offer. Who is it for? What exactly does it do? And what makes you special? Don’t be tempted to overcrowd your website with endless lists of irrelevant details. For example, guests will assume that you offer ironing boards in your rooms – you don’t need to spell it out. Stick to the big sells: “A romantic, 18th century hotel built from a reclaimed mill alongside a beautiful canal” will speak more strongly to your guest than finding out you offer rollaway cots.
4. Bullet Points
This is where you’ll list your main benefits and key features. You don’t need to get into the nitty-gritty details – instead, use powerful language to capture the guest’s interest and make them want to learn more.
Creating Your Value Proposition
According to research by Marketing Experiments, “the biggest hurdle companies have is creating an effective value proposition; the second is communicating it clearly; the third is testing/measuring the value proposition.”
If your potential guest has to wonder what you offer after reading your value proposition, you’ve already lost. Clarity is the key to a high converting value proposition.
So what makes for a clear value proposition that’s easy for guests to absorb?
- It can be read and understood within 10-20 seconds
- It explains what makes you different or unique
- It avoids vague filler descriptions like “the best rated” or “satisfaction guaranteed”
- It conveys the benefits of choosing your hotel. Your guest should know exactly how he gets more value when staying with you. It should also include the added value of booking direct for guests
A note on clarity: Avoid being so simple that your value proposition slips into blandvertising. This is shorthand for choosing phrases so common that they’ve lost all impact for guests.
Powerful Value Proposition Examples
Now that we’ve wrapped our heads around the basics of a solid value proposition, let’s look at exemplary hotel value proposition examples that we can learn from.
Their value proposition is clear, uses relevant images, and radiates a fun personality. But what makes it powerful is how the hotel differentiates itself. They tell you how they’ve defied industry conventions (or would like to convince you they have) to give you an authentic experience that immerses you into your environment and makes you feel like a local, rather than a tourist.
This value proposition feels unique, and it paints a picture of plush rooms, sophistication, and elegance. But it could improve by:
- Using a benefit driven headline. “Luxury Hotels In New York” doesn’t really convey extra value to guests. It just describes the hotel. A way of spinning this might be to say “Step into New York Luxury” or “Let New York Show You the Meaning of Luxury“.
- Clearer language. Yes, the hotel positions itself as more sophisticated and modern than others…but throwing in long-winded sentences and lengthy words (especially in the first sentence) will definitely create friction for guests.
CitizenM hotels are all about the future – and they believe the future of hotels is to have luxury accommodation at an affordable price. Their images reinforce their message, and they demonstrate their uniqueness with clarity.
However, they could strengthen their value proposition by not relying as heavily on video and balancing their homepage with written content to cater for impatient visitors.
To strengthen your hotel value proposition, start with your customer persona: analyze what makes you stand out to your potential guests, and be sure to test your value proposition with either A/B split testing or PPC advertising.
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