October 18, 2021
 | by 
Mariia Fedoruk-Betschki

How to create a value proposition for your hotel

A hotel value proposition is a tool to differentiate your hotel from your competition. Let customers know why they should stay with you specifically.

How to create a value proposition for your hotel

Let's face it: a potential guest for your hotel has probably already looked at countless other options before finding you. How can you convince them to choose your hotel over your competition?

You have to show them what's in it. Your offer has to match what they are looking for. That's where a good hotel value proposition comes in. It serves as a bridge between you and your guests.

In this article I'll walk you through a few quick tips on how to establish a value proposition for your hotel, so you can better differentiate yourself from competitors and increase your direct bookings.

What is a hotel value proposition?

Simply listing and describing all of your hotel's features and amenities doesn't translate into a compelling offer. Most hotels offer free Wi-Fi or 24/7 check-in nowadays. This isn't a competitive advantage anymore. Instead, a good hotel value proposition focuses on the key aspects that make a hotel stand out in comparison to its competition.

Is your hotel cooperating with local businesses? Are you providing any additional services that appeal to certain travelers? Can your guests rent electric vehicles to explore the surrounding area?

A good hotel value proposition isn't just a sentence on your website. It is an overarching theme — your DNA, so to say — that is influenced by your hotel's design, personnel, marketing, and product offering — and vice versa. Ideally, your value proposition is brainstormed and crafted by people from different departments within your hotel. In the end, every single employee needs to be able to identify with it, in order for your hotel value proposition to be authentic.

Examples of great value propositions for hotels

Finding examples of a good value proposition for hotels isn't easy. Digital marketing for the hotel industry is quite a niche and most articles online relate to tech start-ups. I have had a look around a bit and found these three examples that stood out to me.

As you can see, most hotels use their value proposition and positioning to spin it further and embed it deep into their DNA. All of these examples do that throughout their hotel website and on their digital marketing channels.

Hotel Wagnerhof in Tyrol, Austria

This small rural hotel is run by a local family and uses produce of their own farm for their food and beverage offering. They are deeply embedded in the local community. Throughout the whole website, you can find that theme — a true value for guests looking for a local Austrian experience.

A screenshot of Hotel Wagnerhof's website, displaying an image of a famer in a stable. The link to the exact page can be found in the caption of the image
Hotel Wagnerhof is displaying their own farm to show how they are integrated in the local community

Adare Manor in Limerick, Ireland

The Adare Manor is a luxury five-star hotel in Ireland. Their positioning "Beyond Everything" is what guests can identify with immediately. This hotel is clearly not looking for budget travelers who shop around on booking portals to get the best price. Their ideal guests are looking to immerse themselves in luxury and know they found the right place to stay, when they open Adare Manor's website.

A screenshot of Adare Manor's website, a family with falcons. The link to the exact page can be found in the caption of the image
The Adare Manor is more than just your typical luxury hotel. The theme spans throughout the entire website.

Koncept Hotels in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland

the Koncept Hotel group currently operates seven hotels in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Their value proposition is "Digital. Fair. Local.". All of their hotels offer contactless check-in options through an app. Every booking supports projects that make the world a better place — from planting trees to laundry bags printed by an integrative workshop. Additionally, every one of their hotels is integrated into the existing neighbourhoods and brings pieces of it into the public areas and the rooms. They describe their target group as "tech-savvy, attentive travellers" and I believe they have hit the jackpot here.

A screenshot of Koncept Hotel's website, displaying three project the group is supporting. The link to the exact page can be found in the caption of the image
The Koncept Hotels are transparent and upfront about the projects they support, something that clearly speaks to their target group.

How to Create a Value Proposition for Your Hotel

There are many frameworks out there that help you write value propositions. Some are bigger exercises, some can be summarized in a few sentences. One of my favorite exercises — and a good middle-ground between long workshops and quick solutions — has been published by Bulent Keles on Medium.

The framework is simple — just fill in the blanks. As mentioned, I encourage you to bring people from different departments of your hotel together. Introduce them to the structure of the statement below and then have them brainstorm their own value propositions. After everyone is done (usually around 15-20 minutes), let them share what they came up with. Have a discussion in the group and put together your hotel's value proposition. With the introduction and discussion afterwards, plan about 3 hours for this workshop.

For (target customer)
Who (statement of need or opportunity),
(Product name) is a (product category)
That (statement of key benefit).
Unlike (competing alternative)
(Product name)(statement of primary differentiation).

Here's an example for an imaginary hotel:

For eco-conscious travelers who want to leave a positive impact, EcoLodge is a boutique hotel that operates on a zero-waste principle. Unlike traditional hotels, EcoLodge is carbon-negative and wants to leave a minimal footprint on the environment.

Another example — this time for us, KODA:

For bold boutique hotels who want to increase their direct bookings, KODA is a web design and development studio that combines effective websites with efficient digital marketing tools. Unlike many web designers, KODA understands the pain of the hospitality industry and helps hotels automize their business.

How to test and improve your value proposition

So far, all we have done is creating assumptions about what is going to resonate with your potential guests. We haven't actually validated any of these points.

The simplest way to test your hotel value proposition is talking to your guests — ideally those who have been coming back to your hotel over and over again. Present them your ideas, and ask them open questions. What do they think about your value proposition? Is there anything missing? Do they have any suggestions? Avoid leading questions like "Does this represent our hotel?" You're not doing this to get praise, but to receive honest and valuable feedback.

Once you have gathered feedback, iterate on your statement. The best value proposition statements aren't done in one go, promise!

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