Experiences, emotions and memories. Brands are living cultures and the most successful of which form deep attachments to people. It is the amalgam of purpose, concept, tone, language, and critically, desirable behaviours that define and drive culture. The relationship is symbiotic: the culture is the brand, and the brand is the culture.
Brand cultures can be brought to life in many forms and experiences are perhaps the most significant of them. Beach House Iruveli, a luxurious resort in the northernmost atoll of the Maldives, exemplifies this ethos through the opening of neighbouring island cultures to all guests.
Experiences were crafted from a deep understanding of guests’ needs, expectations and aspirations, together with insights on how they interacted throughout their journey with the resort. These experiences have been crafted to enable guests to be in touch with, and be fascinated by the richness of the Maldivian culture that surrounds them.
It is about embracing and connecting the two worlds together: one belonging to that of modern luxury hospitality, and another the islands’ traditional way of life.
At Beach House, desirable interactions were envisioned across key moments and with individuals that are part of the guests’ journey. Visions of guests engaging with the local island villages led to excursion programmes to genuinely immerse them in the culture of the villages.
Visions of the raw beauty of the villages are vividly captured in a collection of signature photographs taken by a world-class photographer. Images of Maldivian smiles, warmth, and its friendly spirit are expressed as heartfelt service behaviours from the resort staff who are highly personalised and attentive to guests.
See Also: Maldives Beyond Resorts
Experiences are central to the branding process – this is the only way customers, as well as employees, can really understand the depth of the brand. Without experiences, brands remain an abstraction. Experiences are also critical for hotels and resorts to achieve incremental revenue growth.
Positive experiences lead to happier guests; a single happy guest tells an average of four to six people about their experiences. Satisfied guests not only influence the word of mouth and social media about a hotel and resort, but establish stronger brand loyalty that grows profitability.
Experiences are important to the management of human resources within the organisation. By engaging employees with the ethos of the brand, employees become inspired by its purpose and understand their role in delivering the brand promise to guests. Engaged employees also feel that their work is more meaningful and fulfilling, therefore resulting in greater job satisfaction and levels of productivity.
Furthermore, experiences help attract prospective employees to apply and work at the hotel and resort, along with increasing retention and loyalty of existing employees. And most important of all, it makes employees fully engaged to deliver service that provides guest satisfaction and builds loyalty with the brand.
Creating the right brand experience dramatically impacts the performance of a business. Branding is at its best when it becomes an enabler for driving incremental revenue growth, profitability, guest satisfaction, brand loyalty, and a more engaged organisation.
A finely orchestrated brand experience – one that is rooted in, and embodies the brand culture – forms the fundamental difference between that of a successful, or mediocre hospitality brand.