What is a unique selling point?
A unique selling point (USP) is your hotel’s ‘signature sauce’.
Do you go the extra mile to ensure your customers get fast, personalized service?
Those are all elements of a strong USP.
Having a USP helps you zero in on your target customer. It’s the foundation for your brand identity, marketing materials, and how your staff communicates to guests.
But if you feel stuck at defining what makes you different, it’s a good time to go back to your foundations.
How to develop your hotel’s unique selling point:
Examine your competition and think about what makes you special.
What makes you better than your competition?
Tap on customer reviews from Booking.com and TripAdvisor for ideas. What do your guests praise about your competition? What are they doing badly in? Then, compare these comments to your own performance. Double down on the aspects you want to be known for.
For example; you could prioritize fast, personalized guest experiences and aim to make every guest feel cared for.
Think about the guests you now attract:
Who is your target guest? For example, are a majority of your guests young adult backpackers looking for simple lodging? Or couples looking for a comfortable staycation? Use this information to create a guest persona and think about how you can meet their needs better.
Note: It’s tempting to appeal to as many guests as possible. But if you have an understanding of your target guest, you can design targeted marketing campaigns and features to cater to these guests’ needs and dominate that specific niche.
3 elements of a winning hotel USP:
Hotels usually focus on excelling on one element, while aiming for “good enough” in the other two.
What’s around your hotel’s location? Is it near a nature getaway? In the heart of a bustling city and walking distance from a major transit point? Draw on these elements to crystallize your hotel’s value.
One of the largest opportunities for hotels is to cater to digital nomads or bleisure travelers; people who work remotely from different locations while traveling. They prioritize flexibility, self-service solutions, and tech amenities to reduce hassle during their stay.
Make full use of this growing opportunity and think about making your amenities more accessible for digital nomads who need to work or travel for pleasure. You could implement contactless solutions in your hotel for your check-in, payment, and booking processes, ensuring digital nomads have an attractive, comfortable stay. Why not emphasize your speed of service, privacy, and contactless experience in your promotional material?
Think about how your hotel delivers value for money against your competitors. Are you well-connected to the best festivals in town? Offer cashless conveniences around all your restaurants and attractions? Provide a unique blend of privacy and quiet with speedy WiFi for business travelers? Show the unique value you offer in your marketing materials.
Note: the best value doesn’t mean the cheapest deal.
Testing and communicating your USP
Once you’ve got an idea of your USP, it’s time to test it.
- Ask your guests to fill up a survey for a voucher to see if it resonates.
- Ask your internal staff for feedback.
- Use social media to ask your followers for input.
The more input you get, the more you can refine your USP. This process takes time.
Your USP is the foundation for your marketing and business strategy. It helps attract the right guests to your hotel, makes it easier for your staff to present themselves, and defines what makes you special when compared to your competitors.