The Grand Budapest Hotel: A lesson in Marketing and Branding

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The Grand Budapest Hotel is a movie that created travel dreams for many adventurers and tourists around the world. Budapest, Hungary located in Central Eastern Europe has become a luxury destination for many. With the exotic Thermal Baths, the Danube and many churches, castles and museums it is a fairy tale destination for people from around the world. As an avid traveler I am excited to spend a few days in this beautiful city for the Leaders in Hospitality CEE CIS summit taking place on May 28th and 29th at the Danubius Flamenco Hotel. We will be hosting over 200 hoteliers for a 2 days summit to discuss the major trends in the hospitality industry. Not only is this a platform for industry leaders, but for delegates to learn about the best practices for their hotel chains and business investments.

I think, as a marketing manager, that one of the most interesting topics being discussed will be the branding of a company and how it can change the type of people who stay at a hotel. Creating a unique atmosphere for hotel guests is an important part of the experience. People remember the small details when they stay at a hotel from leaving a chocolate on their pillow to the way a towel is folded, a stay at a 5 star hotel is something to be remembered. A brand ranges from the patterns a hotel chooses to the thank you note they send after your stay. The most important part of a visit is the comfort of the guest and the service that the staff can provide. This is all part of a company’s branding as each hotel has different standards for their hotel staff. Creating these standards is what 5 star hotels excels at and will be an important discussion at the summit.

Though the Grand Budapest Hotel is just a movie it provides a good example of how the success of a hotel is branded by the service of its staff. The young lobby boy learns that each guest has unique needs and requests and that the customer is the main focus. He will do anything to make those important guests happy and fulfils requests above and beyond the regular requests a guest makes. A luxury hotel provides the features a 3 or 4 star hotel does not and these amenities provide an exclusive and attractive experience for guests and it is what differentiates a hotel from its competitors.

The CEE specifically has big shoes to fill as they were emerging as one of the leading destinations from 2012-2014, and with the growth of tourism in the region, hospitality is becoming the most important industry to invest in. This is one of the challenges that will be discussed at the summit in just a few weeks. I look forward to hearing the debates that will take place at the event and the concepts that these top hoteliers will bring together.