||Your Brand Integrity
Your brand is your product. It is a promise
and an expectation. A good brand defines you and
endears customers to you, it creates the conditions
to choose you above all others and it creates
loyalty and trust.
Brand integrity is a measure of how trustworthy
the market perceives the Brand and the company
behind it. It is the sum total of the product,
its value, the message and the behavior of the
company, its representatives, owners and its employees.
Your brand Integrity is very influenced
by the media and channels used to present, market
and deliver the brand and the products and services.
When you use an OTA channel like Expedia consider
how it can impact on your brand.
The medium and its message may not always
be in your brand's best interest.
Integrity and OTA Channels
Max Starkov warns: "Many hoteliers cede
control of their inventory and pricing to online
intermediaries (Expedia etc) at an enormous
cost financially and to brand integrity"
(Max Starkov, President & CEO, Hospitality Business
Strategies Inc). The table below takes a closer
look at brand integrity in the channels and
the implications for your marketing.
medium and the message
Medium - Choice of channel often
reflects on the Brand. It is not always
good to be seen as Expedia or as Kayak
etc. In many cases a different drum
attracts travelers to the small hotels.
Many travelers are looking for a personal
The Message - The message is
much more than content. It is also about
form, function and process. In the OTA
channel the primary process is
about costing and comparing options
in order to make a buy decision. It
is an important service not available
on a hotel website or on many destination
sites. You choose to buy at store X
for many reasons but if there are no
price tags and you have to go to the
counter to get a price, would you bother?
Creating a message that is not fully
integrated with the product is similarly
dissonant. The shopping experience should
be fully fluid. If you are in an OTA
channel, many travelers will seek out
your website. They expect to have equivalent
value and more personal service.
Promise & Expectation - A Brand
is a promise. It can say we are a small
family hotel, we are local, we are friendly,
we are fun, we are dignified, we are
different, we care. What is the Brand
of an OTA? Expedia mission statement
says: "We are on a mission to be the
largest and most profitable reseller
of travel in the world".
Differentiation & Personality
- Differentiation and personality are
conveyed by the suppliers' website,
by its individual tastes, its use of
colour, its layout and its processes.
The OTA does not create a brand personality
for its suppliers. Properties are compared
on features and price and location,
but the brand is the OTA, the hotels
is its product, and all product website
look the same.
Relationship - Travelers build
a relationship with their suppliers.
If you have bought from an OTA and you
got what you wanted, you will most likely
go there again to check out other options
(properties, products, destinations).
Creating the OTA relationship diminishes
the hotel brand and can result in loss
of repeat business
Loyalty - OTAs are building their
own loyalty program. Much like the airlines,
small hotels can and should reward repeat
clients and clients that refer others
to them. Loyalty programmes work. The
visitor's loyalty should be to the hotel
. AXSES has loyalty solutions for the
hotel brand. Appropriate use of branding
and loyalty programmes can significantly
increase repeat business.
Ownership - With arcRes, the
database belongs to the supplier. This
database is unique in that it captures
leads as well as committed shoppers.
arcRes database marketing allows hotels
to market directly to their leads and
their guests. OTAs have their own marketing
tools, aimed at promoting their own
Sustainability - if you don't
own the brand and don't have the relationship
and loyalty, your business will not
© AXSES 2010 - Branding Concepts
of OTA vs Direct marketing Channel
our blog - branding at a crossroads
Travel Shopping for Brand Exposure
The AXSES travel shopping network offers excellent
brand exposure and a unique shopping experience
for travelers. It is unique in offering easy and
direct access to your website while providing
travelers with the services they like on OTA sites.
In fact the AXSES shopping network delivers
AXSES many point-of-sale opportunities link
travelers directly to your website. The
network also gives shoppers information they need
to build interest and desire for your brand. It
allows shoppers to search and select brands by
features and fit, and to process information
consistently and immediately (find suitable properties,
view rates, rooms, features, photos, get holiday
quotes, compare option, save, book, go to your
website). It gives shoppers a reason to return
offering them their own pages of their interest,
with direct links to the brands selected.
AXSES entire network is driven by arcRes
powering our innovative and first of a kind bookable
systems; bookable-ads, bookable-banners, bookable-lists
and bookable-maps etc. These shopping channels
allow shoppers to add your brand to their shopping
Many Caribbean Travel Portals:
more >>> Travel
Collaborative Marketing from AXSES
AXSES is now introducing a new collaborative marketing
solution where we help you use technology, brand
and market your products, get exposure, and close
more direct sales.
More on this will follow in the next newsletter.
In the meantime please call or email me
if you want to explore this new initiative:
juliah 'at' axses.net
AXSES is a travel marketing company building
marketing and management tools for travel suppliers.
Axses owns over 30 travel portals promoting direct
sales to its hotel and tourism clients.
AXSES supplier tools include Internet marketing
portals, website tools like calendars, blogs,
content management, guest tracking and travel
planning, dynamic packaging, comparison shopping,
reservations and bookings systems.