Business strategy in the hospitality industry once began with marketing and incorporated branding as one of its elements. But in recent years, the brand has moved squarely into the spotlight as the key to success.
A new book by Chekitan S. Dev, associate professor of strategic marketing and brand management at Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration, chronicles the upending of the traditional hospitality business model, from an operations-centric model to a brand-centric model.
In “Hospitality Branding” (Cornell University Press), he describes the past and future of this trend by blending recent history and cutting-edge research, offering hospitality organizations advice on how to survive and thrive in today’s competitive global business environment. Dev explains how this change in emphasis on the brand puts all the elements of the business model in play, causing hospitality leaders to completely rethink their businesses by defining their primary purpose as creating and building great brands.
“Not only has brand become the chief means of attracting customers, it has, more broadly, become the chief organizing principle for most hospitality organizations. The never-ending quest for market share follows trend after trend, from offering ever more elaborate and sophisticated amenities to the use of social media as a marketing tool – all driven by the pre-eminence of the brand,” Dev said.
The book begins with an exploration of the hospitality “brandscape,” including the past and future of hospitality marketing and branding, challenges and opportunities, branding and the Internet, and a case study on Carnival Cruise Lines. A section on global branding covers global brand expansion, branding beyond borders and brand strategies, concluding with a case study of Ritz-Carlton Bali. The strategic branding section includes material on brand equity, positioning and extensions, and customer loyalty, illustrated by a case study on Taj Hotels, Resorts and Palaces. Dev concludes the book with insights into branding execution, from managing marketing and branding relationships to brand franchising and brand partnerships, ending with a case study of Groupon.
Dev’s research has appeared in journals including Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, Journal of Marketing and Harvard Business Review. He is the recipient of several major hospitality research and teaching awards. A former corporate executive with Oberoi Hotels and Resorts, Dev has served corporate, government, education, advisory and private equity clients in more than 40 countries as consultant, seminar leader, keynote speaker and expert witness.