aureli forlani pencarelli_sgbed-ancona-2014

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Brand management in the hotel industry: from company to network brand. Opportunities and limits of networking for small-sized hotels.

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  • Brand management in the hotel industry: from company to network brand. Opportunities and limits of networking for small-sized hotels Aureli S. - Forlani F. - Pencarelli T. Ancona 17/07/2014 THE 13th INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE OF THE SOCIETY FOR GLOBAL BUSINESS & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
  • Agenda 1. Background and objectives and of the study 2. Literature review 3. Methodology 4. Findings from empirical analysis 5. Concluding remarks THE 13th INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE OF THE SOCIETY FOR GLOBAL BUSINESS & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
  • Background Importance of intangibles resources in the tourism sector and the hotel industry in particular (Pencarelli and Gregori, 2009; Krambia- Kapardis and Thomas, 2006; Nemec and Mihalic, 2007; FitzPatrick et al. 2013). Brand is a key success factor and source of competitive advantage which leads to revenue (ONeill and Mattila, 2004, 2010; Hong- bumm Kima and Woo Gon Kim, 2005; O'Neill and Carlback, 2011). Doubts about SMEs capability to design and manage a brand (is brand management a too complex activity?) Italian SMEs collaborate through consortia, associations, product clubs and network contracts to attract customers; sometimes creating brand alliances (Aureli and Forlani, 2013). THE 13th INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE OF THE SOCIETY FOR GLOBAL BUSINESS & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
  • RQ1 Do small-sized hotels consider hotel brand a key success factor? RQ2 Do small-sized hotels devote attention to brand management? RQ3 Whats the role of hotels networking strategies in brand management? Research Questions THE 13th INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE OF THE SOCIETY FOR GLOBAL BUSINESS & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
  • Literature review: Brand and Brand Management Brand is a name, sign, symbol, etc. used to identify the sellers products and distinguish them from those of its competitors (Kotler and Scott, 2002) which embodies tangible and intangibles attributes that are relevant for the customer Brand management refers to the process by which the brand is laden with meanings and the combination of actions carried out to maintain and improve the brands reputation and distinctiveness (Pratesi and Mattia, 2006) : - Design of the brand identity - Brand positioning - Brand Marketing and Monitoring - Brand architecture THE 13th INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE OF THE SOCIETY FOR GLOBAL BUSINESS & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
  • Literature review: Brand usage in tourism Attention on how the hotel brand relates to the brand of the chain, association or network the company belongs to and to the brand of the destination (Pencarelli and Splendiani, 2008; Pencarelli, Betti and Forlani, 2009; Aureli and Forlani, 2013). When territorial/place brands are consonant with the local business actors values and brands, the effectiveness of the marketing policy of these businesses augment and the potential benefits achievable increase THE 13th INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE OF THE SOCIETY FOR GLOBAL BUSINESS & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
  • Literature review: Networking strategies among tourism actors Italian hotels are used to collaborate but mainly informally or through consortia, associations and product clubs; whereas abroad we can find large multinationals and multiple brand affiliations (Bailey and Ball, 2006; Lomanno, 2010) One of the key benefit of brand affiliation is obtaining a strong brand which translates into higher occupancy rates deriving from customers attracted by the hotel chain brands promises However individual hotel owners need to be sure that the chains branding strategies are appropriate for its property (ONeill and Mattila, 2006) -> brand consonance THE 13th INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE OF THE SOCIETY FOR GLOBAL BUSINESS & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
  • Methodology Focus on the Province of Rimini Identification of formal networks through the national dataset of the Chambers of Commerce -> one network contract named Made in Rimini-Holidays formed in May 2013 by three hotel consortia (network of networks) Made in Rimini-Holidays groups more than 100 hotels, which represents about 10% of the total lodging offer. Random selection of three hotels for each consortium Face-to-face, semi-structured interviews with hotel owners/mangers at each hotel premises Topics investigated: HOTEL BRAND; BRAND MANAGEMENT; NETWORK PARTECIPATION THE 13th INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE OF THE SOCIETY FOR GLOBAL BUSINESS & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
  • Hotel characteristics THE 13th INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE OF THE SOCIETY FOR GLOBAL BUSINESS & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT Selected hotels : - are exclusively three- and two-star hotels (50% each) - run by owners - small-sized: with less than 50 rooms (63%) or a number of rooms comprised between 50 and 100 (37%); employing less than 20 people - targeting mainly Italian tourists (foreigners represent 12% of total guests) The three consortia are: - Hotel Tipici Riminesi (Typical hotels of Rimini) which groups hotels located in some fractions of Rimini aiming to promote themselves and the territory where they are located emphasizing the local traditions and culture, make joint purchase and offer staff training to the associated hotels - Torre Pedrera Hotels which groups hotels located in a fraction named Torre Pedrera aiming to promote this specific area by providing information about lodging firms, public services and events to both tourists and inhabitants - Piccoli Alberghi di Qualit (Small Quality Hotels) which groups hotels located in Rimini and other nearby cities (Riccione, Cattolica, Misano) aiming to improve their efficiency and combine it with the local culture of hospitality (small family-run hotels with high quality standards)
  • Findings THE 13th INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE OF THE SOCIETY FOR GLOBAL BUSINESS & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT 11111113Hotel brand popularity (international) 21111114Hotel brand popularity (national) 23224454Hotel brand popularity (local) 54554545Impact of financial resources on brand popularity 43443533Brand as key success factor RQ1 Do small-sized hotels consider hotel brand a key success factor? 5-point Likert scale (1= strongly disagree; 5= strongly agree) - Small hotel owners consider hotel brand an important key success factor whose popularity strongly depends from the amount of financial resources invested. - However, hotel brand is scarcely recognized sometimes even in the local area of Rimini.
  • Findings THE 13th INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE OF THE SOCIETY FOR GLOBAL BUSINESS & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT 5,00%20,00%5,00%2,50%2,50%7,00%3,00%3,00%Financial investments in promotion (% of annual turnover) Content management on FB, Twitter, Google+; partecipation to the consortium's websiste and other local tourism portal (i.e. Riminibeach) ; seasonal greatings; trade fair participation Content management on Hotel website, FB, creation of newsletters; limited advertising on newspapers Advertise on free press; content management on Hotel website, FB, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+; participation to the consortium's website and local tourism portals (i.e. Riminidamar e) Content management on Hotel website, FB, Flickr, Twitter, Youtube; promotion on the local free press and internet portals Renewal of the Hotel website; presence on the tourism portal "Rimini beach"; presence on OTA (Venere.com, Booking.com) , FB, Twitter Theatrical setting, use of mascot representing the summer; content management on Hotel website, FB, Pinterest, Google+; seasonal greetings cards; trade fair participation Content management on Hotel website, FB, Twitter; presence on Travel web site (Tripadvisor & OTA); advertising on newspapers; trade fair partecipation with the consortium Content management on Hotel website, FB, Youtube; trade fair partecipation (alone and with the consortium) Activities carried out to support the hotel brand Systematic use of logo in hotel communicati on; payoff: "A small jewel just a few steps from the sea" Registered trademark; familiar and easy to remember name; payoff: "Your house by the sea" Revision of the logo to evoke the sea and summer (inserting a boat and the sun) Revision of historical name to communicate the concept of beach and the sea Revision of historical name to emphasize hotel's location by the sea Improvement of historical logo and hotel name from a brand management perspective; seasonal slogans NoRevision of the historical name in the phase of requalificatio n and enlargement of the hotel Brand identity system (Logo, Naming, Payoff) YesYesNoYesNoYesNoNoCreation of a brand identity to communicate the hotel RQ2 Do small-sized hotels devote attention to brand management?
  • Findings THE 13th INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE OF THE SOCIETY FOR GLOBAL BUSINESS & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT - Creation of a brand identity is rare: three hotels declare to have created it, but they are not always able to describe its components (which are absent) nor they have identified the intangible attributes associated to the brand; moreover hotel name have all historical roots linked to personal owners experiences - Management activities are limited to web marketing, social network communication, advertising on traditional media and internet. They are not implemented with the aim to exploit hotel brand but they are more similar to traditional prom