To provide context we’ll start with developments that have completely upended everything we knew about marketing. First the arrival of the Internet and its rapid technological advances. Second is the rise of global branding. Consider how these two changes have helped redistribute the US economy: since 2000, small communities and airports (read, rural) have seen their citizen base and customer base dwindle as the best and brightest young people flee to larger cities where they find better jobs, more diversity, and more choices.
Many smaller cities across the nation are losing population. Watch this informative webinar to learn what you can do for you city.
Hotel problems are about to get bigger. Google recently announced it is testing a similar concept to Airbnb in several cities. And while this probably concerns the Airbnb folks, it is the conventional lodging operators that should be losing sleep.
Three million travelers in the past year rented other peoples’ homes instead of staying in a hotel. With an average stay of three days, that is nine million room nights and at an average cost of say, $86 per night, the tab is approaching $1B. And even with the global accommodations market exceeding $555-billion annually, this is beginning to look like real money.
Many smaller cities across the nation are losing their population. The twenty-five largest US cities on the other hand, are doing well, except for Detroit, and a few others with less dramatic problems. The next twenty-five rated by size are mostly doing well, in fact some of the fastest growing places like Austin and Raleigh are in this group. But for the rest of the country, the report is not so good.
Branding can be as frustrating and counterproductive as a hammer designed by a committee, or as simple and effective as a couple of smart people understanding how the customer comes to trust and prefer a company or product. Branding requires digging into the organization and either defining or re-enforcing the way the value of the enterprise is expressed.