Case Study: Lack of Differentiation Was Stifling Revenue

Problem – Messaging & Positioning

Unclear messaging and price positioning was keeping this mixed-use development from reaching its revenue potential.

This mixed-use development in the Southwest US offers a variety of lodging styles: resort; condos; and vacation homes.  Situated with appealing access to renowned state and national parks, the property includes a top golf course and family-friendly amenities.

The property’s owners knew they were missing revenue opportunities but didn’t know where to begin.  There was a disconnect between the development’s messaging and the services and quality of the product offering.  Each of the three lodging options had overlapping pricing and were not distinctly positioned. 

This resulted in confusion and frustration for the customer during the research and reservation process, as well as cannibalization of demand as better quality options sold at lower rates than less appealing units.  They sought a strategic plan that the local team would own and implement, complete with “how-to” instructions.

Our Strategy

  1. Achieve property-level buy-in to ensure collaboration throughout the entire process.  We conducted an on-property evaluation with follow-up conference calls after the visit to the resort.  We designed a solution that allowed immediate feedback from the team, interviewing individuals to collect data and give them a stake in the outcome.  We also made sure that key staff were part of the analysis phase and strategy development so that they would feel comfortable owning the data and process going forward.  We offered transition support to ensure success.
  2. Align messaging and pricing to differentiate the three distinct lodging offerings.  We created revenue management systems and marketing materials that emphasized the value of each of their offerings, simplifying the customer promise and focusing on the strengths of the complex.  We developed pricing guidelines to maintain parity across channels and avoid cannibalizing their own business, and we built out a demand forecast that allowed the property to maximize high-demand dates such as holidays.   We helped the team develop a more dynamic and captivating website that tells a story that connects with travelers. 
  3. Identify growth opportunities across segments.  We developed a proactive sales program that combined stronger results from existing customers with outreach to new audiences.  We helped the complex leverage the strength of its golf course and audience by recruiting a proactive golf specialist to grow that existing segment.  We refocused the local team on increasing business from the existing customer segments of “Golf Group” and “Family Reunions” while adding “Outdoor Enthusiasts,” “Park Explorers,” and “In-House Groups” to the mix of business to pursue.

The Results on Pace

Our engagement resulted in new positioning, message clarity, and a roadmap to move forward for this mixed-use development.  Some of our specific deliverables included:

  • Pricing changes that provided clear customer product differentiation and value.
  • Customized revenue management tools and processes for ongoing property use.
  • A new, more dynamic website with better visuals, more targeted copy, and a streamlined booking process. 
  • A CRM system was added for more customer engagement.

As a result, the complex’s reservations pace increased within 30 days.

*Article originally published by HospitalityNet on March 3, 2021