#GLF19 | "A strong brand is a brand that suggests entertainment, entertainment that is full of meaning"

4 min reading time

Published on 15/05/19 - Updated on 17/03/22

Mercedes Erra

#GLF19 | How and why should a brand be built? What messages are being conveyed? How can you uphold brand image and cultivate it?

How do you create strong brands? A brand is linked to context and must live. A brand serves people, the current context is different. This must be taken into account in order to serve and create a brand. The challenge for brands today is to remember - as always - that the world has changed.

Customers seeking meaning

72% of the world's population think that the world is headed in the wrong direction and this percentage is increasing. Such negativity about the meaning of the world is becoming increasingly widespread. This perception immediately reflects on an important issue: the outlook consumers have for their own children, they think the next generation will have a less serene or interesting life than their own; that is where we stand. This vision makes people wonder why. Very quickly, consumer habits are pointed out, and this is a problem for anyone involved in communication. This does not mean that we do not want to consume, but it does mean that consumption has become a risk to society. In other words, the notion of happiness, the notion of well-being: it will be necessary to reinvent these concepts for brands. That is where the need for meaning comes in: we want consumption to be based on meaning. And it can be found in all professions, and even more so in the consumption that will be linked to that meaning. 

Thus, a strong brand must have an outlook on the future and offer meaning, in order to be established and have meaning. If we look at hotels, Booking has become a key player. Experience is necessary. And yet the brand must promote the notion of experience. In our world, the expérience, which is the product, will be driven by what has been said and told, when we try to put it into words. What goes into the brand will defend the experience.

Customers seeking entertainment

Since problems exist, what we don't want to have is problems with the quality of life. Disorder is normal, but how can I maintain a quality of life that keeps me satisfied? People want entertainment. People want to have fun in every aspect  of their lives, retirement homes, hospitals, workplaces... As a worried population, we say to ourselves that we must enjoy the present, that we need entertainment now. That's the entire subject. 

First I talk to you about meaning and then about entertainment; is that a paradox? Not really. Entertainment is not just about amusement, it is a vital need. There is not merely the pure gratification of the moment.  Euro Disney does not sell by simply saying that it is entertainment. More fundamental and more meaningful things must be said. This desire for entertainment should be meaningful and have a lasting impact beyond immediate gratification. It is a new way of relating to desire, to pleasure: we want them to be filled with meaning.

And that's where you have to go in the hotel business, you have to put meaning into pleasure. Universality, respect, the notion of value, the story, telling the meaning, all this becomes important for entertainment. Another fundamental trend is local connections. As with food: short cycle, things that come close to us, today we value and prefer to showcase local culture. Such entertainment is accompanied by a much better understanding since it is of interest. It goes beyond pure homogenization.

The product, central to the brand... but more than that...

One last idea to close that is important for brands. We used to talk about the value of the brand and the product. Today, what does it mean if I talk about a good brand? It's above all a good product. But it is also a beautiful brand, it is a brand that treats people it works with well. This goes beyond the notion of a brand and into the notion of a company. And people will demand more and more from this company. We have more confidence in companies than in politics, because we feel that there is some degree of consumer power over the company, unlike politics. So this power over the company makes people say companies are going in the right direction. And the right direction is the company's responsibility, which is more important than the pursuit of profit. Whence the ecological notion, but also the notion of doing good around you.

We have a Moral generation before us. A strong brand is a brand that suggests entertainment, entertainment that is full of meaning but also illustrates a company that operates well, with the brand and company more closely related than before.

Disney is not just about attractions, it's also the imagination. You will dream in the park and not tremble on the roller coaster.

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