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Top Hospitality Branding Tips

The award-winning international hospitality consultancy, The Gettys Group, provides branding services for some of the top companies around the globe, including Hilton, Marriott and PSAV. Below, the firm shares some of the top ways branding can enhance your guest’s experience from design to service: 

Less is More

If you’re trying to design a brand for everyone, you’re likely designing a brand for no one. Brands often try to accommodate a wide variety of consumers such as families and the business traveler, but today’s guest is looking for a more personal experience, one that satisfies their specific desires and needs.

citizenM, which recently opened in New York City, is a great example of a brand that’s doing it right. citizenM says “even the hotel of the future has to start somewhere”—they know their guests don’t want a traditional hotel experience, so they’ve opted to focus on what matters most to this segment including affordability, high-tech features including an in-room techie “Mood Pad”, social public spaces via their “living room” style lobbies and gourmet grab-and-go food and beverage.

Think Small

Small brand elements and features can have a big impact on your guest’s overall experience, whether it’s a simple in-room amenity like The James Hotel’s signature red take-home slippers, or an F&B element such as Kimpton’s complimentary Wine Hours.


Today’s guest wants to feel like they’re getting something extra special during their stay. This allows hotels a great opportunity to incorporate tangible branded elements into the guest experience. For example, the new Kinzie Hotel in Chicago makes sure arriving guests experience a literal “piece” of the brand upon check-in, where each guest is offered a special silver coin, paying homage to the hotel’s inspiration and namesake—early Chicago settler and silversmith, the notorious John Kinzie. The coins feature a branded “double cross,” a hallmark of John Kinzie’s handmade pieces, which are redeemable for a free cocktail at the hotel’s Double Cross bar. 

Get Everyone On Board

It’s crucial that your employees are armed with the tools necessary to embody your brand on a daily basis as they are the ones interacting the most with your guests. This can range from training and incentive programs to operational responsibility and empowerment. For example, Ritz Carlton provides their staff with a generous per diem to personally solve problems and wow guests with their brand promise of “legendary” service. Hard Rock Hotels & Casinos’ service standards provide performance targets instead of scripting—encouraging employees to express their individuality and personalities in each guest interaction and to deliver business results. Learning initiatives highlight the brand differentiators—music and memorabilia—to help arm staff with tools to create authentic experiences that rock.

About Gettys’ Brand Design

Gettys Brand Design Group considers the entire journey—approaching each project as an exploration into the needs, beliefs and desires of clients and guests. Their research-based methodology combines crucial insights, compelling content and impactful design in order to tell brand stories with integrity, power and vision. Visit for the latest trends, industry information and more.

The Gettys Group is an award-winning international hospitality consultancy headquartered in Chicago. For more than 25 years across the globe, Gettys has specialized in creating value through interior design, procurement, branding and development services from project conception to completion.

For more information and a sampling of Gettys’ extensive portfolio, please visit

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