Hotel Brands and the use of human psychology to increase booking upgrades.
Hotel brands use techniques based on human psychology such as gamification, loyalty programs, tapping into the passion points of customers, being culturally relevant, social proof and scarcity to increase booking upgrades. Triumph Hotels tap into the passion points of customers to increase their booking upgrades, Hotel Pennsylvania relies on cultural relevance, and the Roosevelt Hotel uses scarcity as the human psychology technique to increase booking.
GAMIFICATION AND LOYALTY PROGRAMS
Gamification uses game-like elements to make the booking experience more engaging. It provides an element of chance to the customers and the hotels sign off their emails with "Good luck." Gamification makes the experience of the customers more fun while also increasing the amount of money they spend during every visit. Making the experience more fun for customers increases their chance of booking the hotel. The games take few seconds to play and include a highly desirable prize such as a free stay in the best room at the hotel. Inasmuch as not every customer wins the grand prize, they are guaranteed to win something such as room upgrades, free breakfast, free parking, discounted city tour, or late checkout.
Another technique that hotel brands use is loyalty programs that encourage potential customers to book. The program ensures that the hotels have repeat customers. The loyalty programs give customers advanced access to free merchandise, special sales coupons, and new products. Customers with loyalty programs account for three-quarters of the hotel bookings compared to 36% for airlines. 43% of the travelers with a loyalty program and 20% of those without loyalty programs book hotels directly through their website.
TAPPING INTO THE PASSION POINTS OF CUSTOMERS
Hotels also tap into the passion points of customers. One of the hotels that use passion points is Triumph Hotels. Triumph Hotels book travelers looking for the best deals to realize their dreams of visiting New York City. They have established a price point that appeals to their target demographic and an emotive message titled “Countdown to Your New York City Dream.” This portrays it as the hotel where people visiting New York for the first time would want to stay. Tapping into the passion points of customers and developing strategic messaging inspires travelers and wins their relationships leading to direct booking.
BEING CULTURALLY RELEVANT AND INCORPORATING CAUSES
Being culturally relevant and incorporating causes that people care about is another technique based on human psychology that hotels use. Hotel brands find out what people say about their destinations and find ways of integrating the message into their marketing. The technique enables customers to realize that the hotels are informed about their culture and will provide conditions that ensure they uphold that culture. Hotel Pennsylvania, for example, had a Selfie in the City promotion that provided travelers with a map of the city of Manhattan that highlighted the main attractions and a selfie stick to take pictures when visiting Manhattan. By doing this, Hotel Pennsylvania was using trends of pop culture such as taking selfies in attractive places increase booking. The maps made it easier for travelers to find the places they would like to take selfies and the selfie sticks made it easier to take pictures after finding the places.
People care about different causes and will donate towards organizations or hotels that believe in the same. Hotels can use ongoing causes such as cancer and homelessness and use a percentage from the reservations to donate to the cause. Red Lions Hotel created Project Wake Up Call that partners with a local charity to provide support for the homeless. Travelers who donate $100 or more receive a complimentary room at any location with Red Lions Hotel. Travelers who care about the homeless are more likely to donate to the project, and in doing this, they become customers of Red Lions Hotel.
The technique indicates that people view a behavior as correct if there are people already doing it. Hotels integrate this into booking by displaying messages that showcase how many people have already booked the hotel or a room. The hotels also use the technique by showing the testimonials from guests and relevant reviews. Positive reviews make the potential customers understand that the hotel offers great services and motivates them to book.
People consider a scarce object as more valuable compared to an abundant object. Hotels use scarcity to show that their rooms and services are valuable and have been booked by more people. They use the message of scarcity throughout the booking process to portray a limited time offer or limited inventory. An example of a large hotel brand that uses scarcity to increase booking is the Roosevelt Hotel.
In conclusion, hotel brands use techniques based on human psychology such as gamification, tapping into the passion points of customers, loyalty programs, being culturally relevant, social proof and scarcity to increase booking upgrades. Triumph Hotels use the technique of tapping into the passion points of customers to increase their booking upgrades, Hotel Pennsylvania relies on cultural relevance, and the Roosevelt Hotel uses the technique of scarcity to increase booking.