Five critical errors in building hotel brand toolkits and playbooks
In working with some of the world’s largest hotel brands (InterContinental, Delta Hotels, Even Hotels, etc) we’ve seen many toolkits and playbooks with varying degrees of effectiveness. These tools are so profoundly critical to brand success, it’s surprising to us how many fall so short of remarkable. It’s almost as if the agencies who created them weren’t really vested in the project’s success treating them as necessary evils. We have our suspicions as to why that is, but that’s another matter.
[hotel brand toolkits and playbooks] are huge opportunities to elevate the brand by empowering internal and external teams with inspiration and guidance towards success.
In our opinion, hotel brand toolkits and playbooks aren’t necessary evils, and they aren’t a simple set of rules to be followed. They are huge opportunities to elevate the brand by empowering internal and external teams with inspiration and guidance towards success. Yet, so many fall short due to these five common errors:
ERROR 01. WRONG PERSON FOR THE JOB
Toolkits and playbooks should be collaboratively crafted with a team of branding experts. Not an ad agency. Not an architecture firm. (Yeah, those are examples we’ve come across.) These types of companies have teams built for other purposes and do not have the brand strategy expertise necessary to create effective toolkits and playbooks.
ERROR 02. BUILT-IN A BOX
Brand playbooks and toolkits are for the use of partners and yet, most often, the partners rarely have any say in what goes in them. They aren’t given a forum to explain what they need, how they use them, and what stands in the way of successful activation. Instead, teams in an echo-chamber drive the process resulting in tools that are not optimized for adoption.
ERROR 03. ALL THEORY, NO INSTRUCTION
While strategic thinking is critical to fostering the understanding necessary for driving any initiative, all strategy and no action-oriented direction renders toolkits and playbooks ineffective. These brand tools must drive action and adoption. They should guide partners in how to activate the thinking with direct, didactic play-by-play instruction.
ERROR 04. SEND IT AND FORGET IT
Once the toolkit is created, it’s usually emailed to partners and stored on an intranet where it sits until someone decides to repeat the process. Activating toolkits and playbooks are just as important as creating them. Partners and teams have to buy-in to their value and use. That’s fostered by generating excitement and painting a clear vision of how the tools can realize goals.
ERROR 05. WRONG MEDIA FORMAT
A PDF or printed book had its place and fulfilled the baseline need back in the 2000s, but times have changed. #Duh. People absorb information differently now, looking to their phones for access to resources. Video and web-based tools are what work best, yet most playbooks and toolkits still reside as PDFs. Brands who want to activate effective tools must look at the media channels that will get the most traction with their teams.
Your hotel’s brand and marketing toolkits and playbooks are an opportunity to change the game. They should empower your teams with invigorating inspiration and guidance on propelling the brand forward. By dodging these common errors, you can lead the charge for better, more effective toolkits that garner mass adoption. Oh, and we’re here to help you do that!
Vigor is a restaurant and hotel branding and marketing agency. We don’t focus on chasing the Cannes Lion or Addy. We focus on collaboratively building successful hospitality brands and the tools that fuel that journey. When it comes to toolkits and playbooks, we see them as not just a book of laws to be followed. To us, they’re opportunities to empower and inspire multiple stakeholders to grow magnetism and brand advocacy. Dive into our toolkit and playbook development services, or ping us to discuss your needs, today.