Overused Words in Hospitality Marketing
According to Webster’s Dictionary, success is “the act of getting or achieving, wealth, respect, or fame”. But to many of us success isn’t just about wealth and fame, it’s about a well-rounded life, with time to enjoy family, friends, and hobbies. Yet the irony here is that in order to achieve that work-life balance there is often a long road of working overtime. So how can you have that success without killing yourself in the process? In a word, marketing. Marketing is crucial to success in any industry, and the hospitality industry is no exception. In an industry that competes frequently against its peers, marketing is the key to success. While most of us know that appealing to our target market is vital to business, we may not realize that our marketing language is often marred by some very common mistakes. Open just about any hospitality magazine or take a look at industry ads and you’ll undoubtedly see the same verbiage over and over, so much so that it’s becoming hard to differentiate properties, destinations, venues and even restaurants. Put your company to the test; take a look at the words describing your business. Do you stand out? Are you able to distinguish your business your competitors? If not, your business may be lost in the jungle of overused words in hospitality marketing.
Most overused words in the industry
Of course the first instinct, when trying to market your product or service, is to spruce up every aspect with every word describing your business. But this is where the potential issues arise. Rather than describing why your business, venue, or hotel is the best option, many gravitate towards the same ole’ words and clichés that just about every other company is using such as, must see, best kept secret, exceeding expectations, above and beyond, seamless”, aggghhh please, we’ve heard those a thousand, if not a million times.
In her article in Cvent, Junvi Ola lists a few of the most common clichés and words used by the hospitality industry that could really damage the success of your business. The terms Ola outlines include, “hidden gem, unique, luxurious and vibrant culture” among many others. Verbiage like this not only hides your business in a jungle of overused words, but it also prevents your clients from discerning the important information about your company and why they should choose you.
How to fix the problem
If your business has fallen into the hospitality marketing trap and utilized descriptors such as unique or luxurious, don’t worry; there are ways to fix it. Re-think exactly what you are trying to market to your potential clients. For example, instead of saying, “we have unique meeting and event centers”, explain what makes the space so unique. Focus on specific details that give the customer a visual image of what the space looks like and how they could envision themselves utilizing it to their advantage. Illustrate the experience they’ll enjoy rather than trying to overly describe facts.
Luxury is another tough word to avoid, as it seems everyone in the hospitality industry wants to provide clients with the most memorable and luxurious experience possible. But there are other ways to describe your business without using this worn-out term. Again, focus on detailed elements that depict the idea of luxury or lavishness. Use descriptors that evoke emotion. Play to the senses when highlighting certain aspects of your business.
Eliminate confusion and boredom
Stay away from words that may confuse or bore your audience. No one is going to be excited by a venue that uses adjectives such as “really, very, nice, or good” and for that matter, “state-of-the-art” has been used ad nauseam, in fact it’s doubtful as to just what ‘state’ it’s now. In order to market your business effectively you need to cut out the bland or weak language and replace those words with more powerful terminology that stimulates your audience’s emotions and senses on a higher level.
When it comes to marketing in this industry, the words you choose carry tremendous power. As travel industry expert Roger Brooks says, “If your message can fit anyone, toss it and start over.” Painting a picture of the experience your clients will enjoy can push your brand to the forefront of your prospects’ minds and trigger the emotional response that drives sales.
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