“If a hotel was not built recently, then consumers will categorize the hotel as either historic or old.”
Historic Hotels of America has teamed up with the Brand Heritage Institute to offer an executive education program in heritage marketing.
The Brand Heritage Institute will develop and offer annual seminars in strategic marketing, which are customised for hoteliers at historic hotels inducted into Historic Hotels of America.
The first of these activities will be a seminar leading to an executive education Certificate in Heritage Marketing for Historic Hotels, which will be offered to owners, general managers, and other senior leaders of historic hotels during the Historic Hotels of America and Historic Hotels Worldwide 2018 Annual Conference.
The first annual seminar will be held on October 30th, 2018 at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, which is celebrating the centennial of its opening in 1918.
The program director will be Bradford Hudson, who is a marketing professor at Boston College. He is also President of the Brand Heritage Institute, which is an independent non-profit corporation devoted to research, education, and publishing about topics at the intersection of marketing and history.
Hudson said: “Brand heritage is an emerging concept within the marketing discipline, which suggests that the historical status of older companies is often explicitly linked to their brand identity and consumer appeal. A historic hotel represents a special variant, because its brand identity is inseparably linked to its architectural history and to the cultural dimensions of its environment.
“If a hotel was not built recently, then consumers will categorize the hotel as either historic or old. Obviously, it is better to be historic. Each historic hotel offers a unique experience that cannot be duplicated by competitors, and its history represents an important element of differentiation. Historic hotels can achieve a significant advantage in ADR and REVPAR versus newer competitors in the same segment. The key variable seems to be the degree to which the older hotel emphasizes and celebrates its history.”
Hudson continued: “From one viewpoint, historic hotels are pioneers in brand heritage and have been at the forefront of heritage marketing since the founding of Historic Hotels of America almost three decades ago. It could be argued that companies in other industries should be learning from hotels, not vice versa. However, based on my experience as an industry executive and academic researcher, it seems clear that practical efforts must be aligned with theoretical principles in order to make marketing programs more effective and expenditures more efficient.
“Executives responsible for marketing historic companies need to know how brand heritage works at a fundamental level and be able to explain why people buy historic products of any type. Understanding the nature of heritage in competitive strategy and consumer behavior will help hoteliers position and leverage their historic hotels to maximum advantage, and thereby attain practical benefits in demand and pricing, which is the ultimate purpose of our new executive education program.”