What is Hotel Reflagging and What Are The Costs Involved?
Hotel Reflagging is when a hotel changes its brand. So a hotel that has always been a ‘Holiday Inn’ might reflag one day and become a ‘Hilton.’ Or the local Hilton might become its own independent hotel chain.
To understand why hotels do this and the costs involved from these reflagging and de-flagging attempts, we must understand how hotels and their hotel chains work.
Before we get started, it’s important to understand that most hotels do have a flag outside of their buildings. In most cases, they fly the flag off their brand, but some hotels have national flags that signify that everyone is welcome in their building.
And those flags have to be changed.
Hotels Pick Their Brands
Hotel branding is the same as branding your business under any other big entity. Suppose a hotel is under the brand of a Holiday inn. In that case, the customers going into the hotel know that they will expect a standard of care similar to what they would get at any other Holiday Inn. Brands can be chosen for various reasons, such as the popularity of the brand at the time, the location of the hotel, and problems with being an independent hotel brand.
Whenever a hotel wants to change its brand, it’s called reflagging, and it’s not as easy as changing the logo.
But there’s a catch:
Why would a hotel want to go under a different hotel management company in the first place? So let’s get into this!
Why is Hotel Reflagging Done?
Hotel reflagging is actually done all the time, and it’s a pretty common tactic for businesses. Sometimes hotels want to strike out on their own, distance themselves from a brand, or just make some more money with a different brand. For instance, some hotel brands do better in certain locations while others don’t.
For example, you wouldn’t expect to find a high-end hotel on the side of the interstate, so a Hilton Garden inn on the side of the road might change its brand to draw in more customers. Other times, hotels will reflag if they have a disagreement with a sponsor and want to try something else or want to be independent.
Of course, this isn’t a decision to take lightly. Changing an entire corporate hotel brand can take time and cost money, and here are some of the costs involved with making a hotel reflagging change.
What Will it Cost?
For starters, every monogrammed item with the previous franchise will need to be removed and replaced – Towels, literature, brochures, and signage from the old franchise will be replaced with the new. Since the custom material can be expensive, it is something to watch out for.
There are plenty of other more minor details that need to be replaced as well, and it can all get costly if you are a bigger hotel chain.
Additionally, the entire web presence needs to be reuploaded and changed. The website needs to have all traces of the old franchise removed, not just from the hotel’s website but from the entire web presence of the hotel. That means everything from social media posts to local listings from Google and other websites and webpages that point people to the old website needs to be updated to match the new franchise.
The bigger the size of your business, the more you will need to invest in this.
That being said, it’s the technical services where the highest costs are involved. It’s because you don’t want outdated URLs and websites pointing your customers to a hotel that doesn’t exist anymore!
Additionally, you could even lose some extra money during the transitional period while you move from brand to brand and essentially have to start all of the marketing all over again.
How To Get Help Reflagging
You might want to reflag your hotel to make more money or find a better improvement with a sponsor.
But how do you get past the cost of hotel reflagging and the subsequent dip in profits?
That’s where hiring a hotel consulting agency comes in. It is the best way to help you navigate through the work, and here’s how:
- The consulting company can give you professional advice regarding various questions you might have about the hospitality industry.
- They should be the first organization you call whenever it comes to making any changes to your hotel, including the reflagging of your hotel.
- They can help you understand everything that goes into reflagging. Not just the technical stuff like replacing all the bath towels with towels that sport the new brand, but also how to end your relationship with the old brand.
- Finally, they’ll help you get the most out of your relationship with the new brand too. The company can also give you proven solutions that work when reflagging your hotel because, chances are, they have done it before. As a result, they can help you overcome problems and make sure that you make the most out of the hotel reflagging process.
Consider It Carefully
As much as hotel reflagging seems like a simple ‘switch from brand A to brand B and make more money,’ you need to consider all that goes with it. Leaving a hotel brand, even one that you’ve only been with a short time, is like leaving an Ex or a job, and there’s a process to it.
A hotel consulting company can make sure that you are checking all the boxes.
No one wants to reflag too soon or go into the process without seeing all the steps and the costs involved. So make sure to do some research and make sure that everything is where it needs to be before you start the process of reflagging your hotel.
Once you can raise the new flag over the hotel and become part of the new brand, see how it works. Most hotels will reflag and deflag several times throughout the lifetime of the building, so if you need to repeat the process, feel free to!
Do you need help with reflagging your hotel? At MBB Management, we provide you with all the tools and experience you need to level up your business for success. Contact us today, and our team will schedule an introductory meeting with you.