Hotel and Resort Guests are Motivated by Slogans that Convey Value, Convenience and Service

Hilton Garden Inn, Days Inn and Holiday Inn Hotels top the list
Tim Trull, Managing Director, Strategy | Stephen Heitz, Chief Innovation Officer

This article is a brief abstract of our exclusive study that takes the guesswork 
out of hospitality advertising and marketing.

Download the complete 2019 Southwest Hospitality Marketing Report

 


Everyone appreciates a good turn of phrase. Being catchy, however, isn’t enough when it comes to crafting effective slogans. In fact, our hospitality industry study reveals that travelers prefer marketing messaging promising value, convenience or service.

Here are the slogans respondents selected as most motivational from a list of popular hotel chains. We presented the slogans without the associated hotel or resort names so participants could focus on the message rather than the brand name itself:

  • Right where you need it. – 63% (Hilton Garden Inn)
  • The best value under the sun. – 58% (Days Inn)
  • We put a smile back on your face. – 53% (Holiday Inn Hotels)
  • See what a difference a stay makes. – 48% (Embassy Suites)
  • Wherever life takes you, we’re there. – 44% (Best Western)
Hotel and Resort Guests are Motivated by Slogans that Convey Value, Convenience and Service

 

Here are the top explanations behind the selections:

Everything. Right where you need it. – 63% (Hilton Garden Inn)

“Convenience” was the word most used in this section. “It sounds more like home,” one respondent said. Here are a few other representative statements:

  • Shopping, entertainment, transit system, etc. If you have them close by it's a big advantage.”
  • “I never have to leave the hotel.”
  • “Convenience is important to me because the planning part is already hard enough.”
  • “I like to know that I have access to the world on many levels while on vacation.”
  • “It is nice to be conveniently located. It is also nice to be supplied with shampoo, soap, etc., (that is expected) but it is nice to be able to get things you forgot like a toothbrush—especially after a late check in.”
  • “It just makes it sound so easy, like the perfect, relaxing
  • “It makes me think of a place where I can walk in and get everything I expect to find in a hotel.”
  • “It makes you feel that they have thought of everything.”
  • They care about their guests.”
  • “This is what a vacation should be.”

The best value under the sun. – 58% (Days Inn)

“Value” was the word most used in this section. “The best experience for the best price, in my book, is worth the money paid for the lodging,” one respondent noted.

Here are a few other representative statements:

Retirees said, “I am value-oriented. I am a retiree on a fixed income and can't afford what I would really want,“ and “Value is important to retirees so we can take more trips while waiting for the lottery to change our travel habits.”

Those with families said, “We are always looking for a good value for a family staycation. It sounds like a slogan that would make me check to get further information,” and “The majority of families have a strict budget.”

Those who want a great deal said, “I am looking for quality at a reasonable price,” “I look for the best value. This indicates I'll get it,” and “It is always satisfying to get great value for your money.”

Those interested in getting more for their dollars said, “I assume it is not outrageously expensive just to stay in a room for a night and perhaps includes breakfast,” and “I want good value for the money I spend. Every place can give me a bed and bathroom, so I'm looking for a really good price plus some extras, like free breakfast, free spa, etc., which would equal the best value,” and “We want everything promised, and maybe a little extra thrown in.”

Hotel and Resort Guests are Motivated by Slogans that Convey Value, Convenience and ServiceWe put a smile back on your face. – 53% (Holiday Inn Hotels)

“Service” was the theme mentioned most in this section. “I've stayed in many hotels during my life, and there are plenty of them that did put a smile of satisfaction on your face,” one respondent noted. “It makes you feel like you've made the right decisions, therefore, increasing the chances of you staying there in the future.”

Another said, “Most families only take one vacation a year and it should be so special it puts a smile back on your face. Life is so busy and hurried today and families are very different from my childhood. Happiness is almost a thing of the past. I think a vacation is a time for families to get to enjoy a break and reunite as a family again.”

Here are a few other representative statements:

  • Enthusiasm. It’s all about the adventure, which always puts a smile on my face.”
  • “If a worker has a frown, I don't want to stay there.”
  • “If I leave happy, it was a great stay.”
  • “It indicates a very friendly and warm environment.”
  • “It is unique and fun and makes me interested.”
  • “It is always nice to smile. The phrase itself makes me smile.”
  • “Life needs more reasons to smile.”
  • “Sounds like a relaxing place to regenerate and forget the everyday world.”
  • "They are working hard to keep their customers happy.”
  • Travel is stressful. It is important to be able to smile.”
  • “When you NEED a vacation, you need to smile!”

See what a difference a stay makes. – 48% (Embassy Suites)

This slogan elicited several responses tied directly to the phrase itself, more so than the others. Respondents considered it “positive” and “catchy.” “I just like the play on words from what a difference a day makes. It’s kind of clever and I appreciate that,” one respondent further explained. A single respondent noted a differing point of view. “I really don't care about a slogan. I care how I'm treated,” the participant said.

Here are additional highlights:

  • “It makes me want to hop on a plane and go right to the hotel and stay there forever.”
  • “It makes you want to go there to see what they have to offer.”
  • “It only takes one stay to determine if you would come back.”
  • “It says that you will have a wonderful time at this hotel.”
  • “It tells me that they will give me customer service.
  • “It seems like a challenge to see how good the stay can really be.”
  • “It sounds very interesting. The statement brings on the question about what difference does a stay make? I’m curious about what makes the difference.”

Wherever life takes you, we’re there. – 44% (Best Western)

This phrase evoked a variety of descriptive words from respondents including comforting, ease, convenience, experiencesupported, flexibility and dependable. Beyond the idea that “this company would have hotels wherever I am going,” here’s what research study participants had to say:

“It is important to have a brand you trust when you travel,” one respondent said. “If I know I had a good experience in one place and can count on the same experience in another area or state that is where I am going to stay.”

“It is good to be able to stop and find somewhere without having to go a specific way,” explained another. “You should be able to find someplace to stay anywhere you decide to stop.”

“It opens up the world to you.”

A few respondents viewed the phrase as aspirational as well as literal:

  • “The idea is that they have locations wherever I need them and also wherever I am in my life's journey, they are there for me.”
  • “It implies feeling connected—like family.”
  • “This is a place that feels like home.”
  • “We travel for different reasons and this indicates an ability to accommodate everyone.”
  • “To me, this means that this hotel is all over and that no matter your budget, you can stay there.”

Higher rollers expect more

As one might expect, participants with incomes of $75k+ annually were motivated slightly differently from those who earn less per year. The top-ranked phrase, however, was consistent with what respondents chose overall. And the second-ranked one in this category ranked fourth overall.

Here are the slogans which were most motivational for higher wage earners:

  • Right where you need it. (Hilton Garden Inn)
  • See what a difference a stay makes. (Embassy Suites)
  • When life feels perfect. (Four Seasons)
  • A place to connect with the world. A place to stay inspired. (Conrad)

Here are a few statements related to the remaining two which motivated more affluent travelers more than any other group:

When life feels perfect. (Four Seasons)

Respondents want things to go well while they are on vacation. They want to feel pampered. They want to relax. This, they said, would make things perfect.

Here’s a more in-depth view at what that looks like:

  • “In this day and age life doesn't feel perfect for me so I would just like a couple of day where I was perfectly happy and didn't have to worry about anything.”
  • “I want everything to be perfect and flow smoothly.”
  • “In my view life feels perfect when I can get away from the day-to-day cares. I want to be able to move at my own pace and do what I want when I want.”
  • “[Perfection] is something we all strive for, but seldom achieve!”
  • “It's nice to get away from life's problems.”
  • “It’s what a vacation goal should be.”
  • “It makes me feel like it WOULD be perfect.”
  • “Vacation needs to feels just right and perfect; no surprises.”

A place to connect with the world. A place to stay inspired. (Conrad)

Study respondents overwhelmingly expressed interest in experiencing new cultures when they travel. Participants used phrases such as “high-quality traveling experience” and “sounds wonderful and magical” to describe their interpretation of “A place to connect with the world. A place to stay inspired.”

Here’s additional insight on why they prefer the slogan:

  • “It makes me want to try their hotel.”
  • “I think it embodies everything I want.”
  • “When traveling around the world it is important to feel connected to the city and culture.”
  • “It is just true and corny.
  • “Every time my family and I get a room we run into someone from a different state or country and they begin to tell their reason for their stay or vacation, etc. It's nice meeting someone outside of one's own culture.
  • “It gives the impression that one can relax and recharge.”
  • “I chose ‘A place to connect with the world’ because to me it means a world different from my own. A new experience is certainly inspiring.”
  • “It just makes it sound like a place where you want to be.”
  • “It's effective because it supports what the client is there for, to explore new places—not the hotel.”

 

2019 Southwest Hospitality Industry Marketing Report


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This article is a brief abstract of our exclusive and authoritative study that takes the guesswork out of hospitality advertising and marketing. Rather than speculating about what will drive consumers to action, we've asked them.

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