Mention a leading upscale hotel brand and it may evoke an image of luxury, pampering, and impeccable service. A budget brand may evoke feelings of efficiency, cleanliness, and value.
Whatever the star rating or segment, hotel brands conjure up certain expectations. How well a hotel delivers on these expectations has a direct impact on the reputation of the hotel and the brand.
Recently, Cornell University collaborated with ReviewPro to analyze more than 30 million guest reviews from over 30,000 branded hotels in the U.S. and Canada. The results are published in a report from Cornell University’s Center for Hospitality Research, Indexing Hotel Brand Reputation.
The report reveals important insights and trends related to hotel brands and online reputation. Some of the key findings include:
• Online reputation is mainly a function of brand rather than segment or hotel location.
• The variation in reputation across brands is four times larger than the variation across chain scales, or segments.
• Variability in reputation across hotels within a brand is greater than the variability in reputation in hotels across brands.
“Our research suggests that the roles of hotel brand and chain scale are changing, and, further, that the influence of brands is growing,” said the report’s coauthor, Chris K. Anderson, Director of Cornell University’s Center for Hospitality Research.
“If a hotel’s brand is a more reliable indicator of reputation than its chain scale or star classification, travelers will lend greater weight to brand when selecting a hotel. Over time, brands that consistently deliver on expectations across their portfolio will carve an increasingly higher market share,” he said.
Given previous research from Cornell University found a direct connection between hotel reputation and pricing power, hotel companies, operators and investors are wise to focus on building reputation at the brand level.
For more information, see the full report here.