Positioning your property for dominance.
Positioning is a word that has been misconstrued to be more confusing than definitive. It means to ‘develop your property and offerings specifically to be preferred by audiences that will positively impact both your financial top AND bottom lines.’ It is not ‘branding’ or ‘advertising’ or even ‘packaging.’
Positioning is a 360-degree process.
Think of it like a solar system, with your property at the center, and a myriad of target audiences floating just outside of its gravitational pull. Positioning identifies those audiences that will achieve your business goals, and then draws them in [like a tractor beam] to be acquired and reside in an ongoing orbital relationship with your property. It occurs at every point in that relationship… from the time a prospect first learns of the property, through the acquisition process, arrival, stay and departure… until the stay occurs again. The resulting system is proactive, interactive, intuitive, continuously learning and evolving to be relevant to the respective audiences.
Positioning is about modifying your business, not your communication.
An objective and thorough Due Diligence audit always kicks off the Positioning process. It’s critical to understand the business situation, challenges and what you have to work with, followed by comprehensive audience surveying and competitor audits. This part of the process should be undertaken with painstaking diligence, as the results will impact and drive everything that follows. Once completed, a comprehensive business and marketing plan-of-action can be developed.
Positioning is not about franchising. It’s just the opposite.
Franchising begs for consistency… essentially to be the same as everyone else waving the same flag. Positioning, however, is about being distinctive. Creating separation that is meaningful for your business and your desired audiences. Properly implemented, it can provide significant lift in preference, rate, return intent, length of stay and revenue per occupied room.
Finally, positioning is not for everyone.
A property should have the “potential” for distinction, not just the interest. Good bones. Interesting history. Unusual amenities. Premier activities. Beautiful surroundings. Declining market share. These are generally clues to opportunity. Equally important, however, is commitment. The financial upside of positioning can be significant, but is often in direct correlation to the passion and patience reflected by all involved parties. Dipping your toe into this process will only get you a wet toe… creating distinction takes an “all-in” effort.