Activating Brand Integrity

Posted in Insights

A Recap of Kenn Fine’s Executive Workshop for Springboard Hospitality Leadership in Las Vegas.

What companies project out into the marketplace always begins within.

More than ever, branding depends on a movement; deeply shared culture and consistently applied signals of what makes your company unique. A Brand-Led Business Building® approach aligns vision with experience to create brand integrity people can feel.

This is especially true in hospitality, where the perceived value of boutique brands depends heavily on direct human-to-human interaction to shape distinctive guest experiences. It turns out, a human-to-human interaction is what defines distinctive brands, too.

BLBB® Workshop: Brands Are Built Together

“People make the brand” is a truth that shouldn’t just be a credo; it should change the process of brand creation itself. For places of hospitality, where staff and service drive experience, it’s especially relevant. Strong product-centric brands, like Apple or Nike, may think more in terms of a “people once-removed” model, such that loyal customers become advocates and feel a sense of belonging akin to being part of the company. Either way, a more personal and collaborative work-session approach to defining brands can help us get past agency brandspeak and put things into human terms.

The Power of Positivity and the Magic of Experience Intent are management drivers. But a series of thoughtful exercises can help teams shape their unique brand dashboard and effectively map out the tenets of their distinct brand:

  • Find Your Onlyness
  • Define Your Spirit, Style, Vibe
  • Make Your Promise
  • Catalog Your Remarkable Features: Locational Attributes, Tangible Assets & Amenities, Intangible/Experiential Opportunities & Impact, Random Eccentricities
  • Focus Your Primary Audiences
  • Realize Your Real Primary Audience
  • Distill A Memorable, Actionable Dashboard Framework For Your Team

Done thoughtfully, even exercises that call for a few thoughtfully selected adjectives can challenge hearts and minds. The result is something that makes for compelling brands, internal battle cries, and an experience that can impact every guest.

The dashboard is an ever-evolving artifact, not a one-time exercise. It can and should be revisited and refined continuously. It should train the trainers and engage the trainees for years to come.

Every Brand Is An Employer Brand

An employer branding mindset is critical. Allowing your people to be their best selves is how you make your company its best self. Meaningful and memorable experiences are nurtured through culture and people.

This inside-out approach has been a driving force in dozens of FINE projects {link to hospitality landing page}. It’s always about BEING your brand, not just saying or displaying it. It’s about how experience is not only what engenders loyalty, but turns people—internally and externally—into evangelists.

A well-activated brand is like compounding interest; it grows every time you have the chance to interact with a guest. That requires a team who knows the brand story and their role in it, which in turn requires providing them tools and empowerment. It’s not just about booking room nights in the short-term, but attracting and retaining guests for life—and reaping all the brand equity that comes with it.

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