How to design efficient and functional hotels (II)

How to design efficient and functional hotels (II)

How to design efficient and functional hotels (II) 1024 682 The Innova Room

In our previous post, we presented some keys to achieving efficient and operational hotels, without losing sight of the attractiveness of the design. Here we introduce the latest two trends, focused on product differentiation.This trend was also discussed last November at the Boutique Design New York conference.

4. Local personality

Guests (especially millennials) demand authenticity. For this reason, hotels must make an effort, within the necessary economies of scale to make a business profitable, to offer a local feeling in each location. This can be achieved through decoration, gastronomy, music or any sensory aspect. In this sense, hotels compete directly with Airbnb for this “feeling local” valued more and more.

Not surprisingly, the so-called “soft brands” are emerging to respond to this demand. There where the chains cannot reach due to the demand for somewhat rigid standards, there is a market opportunity for alliances between independent hotels (fully integrated into their local environment) and the chains under a flexible, minimal brand. This video shows the soft brand concept of The Unbound Collection, by Hyatt:

However, big “hard brands” can also compete in design by trying to make their product more flexible to make it more local. And for all demographic segments and market positions this aspect of uniqueness is highly valued, so it should not be ignored if you want to maintain a leadership position.

5. Brand portfolio segmentation

Hotel chains often create different brands to serve the different market segments they identify among their customers. In this sense, they declare that they usually create a new brand at the moment they detect a gap in the market.

The Innova Room | Hoteles eficientes y operativos

Hilton Brand Portaflio

But this brand architecture must entail a coherent design strategy where, for example, the finishing materials are consistent with the positioning of the brand within the portfolio. Large chains such as Hilton must identify which brands are acceptable for laminate flooring and which, on the contrary, it is necessary to use real wood, even if the investment and maintenance cost are higher.

For instance, the trend of using open wardrobes has different meanings depending on the client. If the brand concept is well articulated, it makes sense in market positioning where it would be rejected as a low-cost solution. The challenge of design consists on many occasions of going beyond the constraints established a priori by traditional categories.

The Innova Room | Hoteles eficientes y operativos

Open wardrobes in Canopy, by Hilton

(*) The original article from which this adaptation has been made can be found at Hotel Management.

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