If you’ve been reading this column over the last week you might remember we had some trouble with our lodging during our travels over the July Fourth weekend. Because of this trouble we found ourselves NOT staying in the nice, quiet new hotel with a pool, a Jacuzzi and a pretty good continental breakfast, like we had planned.
Instead, we had to stay in an older motel along a busy highway. Remember, the kind where you drive right up to your door? That’s what this was. We stayed here because the big fancy chain hotel messed up our reservation. And they ran out of rooms.
The first thing that caught my attention at this motel was their sign:
“Cleanest rooms in town. Guaranteed”
This made me wonder why they would feel the need to brag about clean rooms. Isn’t it a given that the rooms would be clean? It seems to me it should be a given. But, maybe my standards are not everyone’s standards. Either way it gave me a little cause for concern.
When we settled into our room I was pleasantly surprised to find the rooms were, in fact, very clean. Of course I had no way to determine if they were the “cleanest in town”. But that didn’t matter because they were as clean as any I had ever stayed in.
Plus, even though the motel was old it was well maintained. Everything worked well. The furniture and carpeting were up to date. And (best of all) the high-speed wireless interest worked perfectly (which is more than I can say for the big chain hotel we stayed at the following night).
So, even though this little motel was not our first choice, we were happy with it. Overall they had a nice property and they took good care of their guests.
From what I could see they followed some basic local marketing rules and it seemed to work well for them.
1. They focused on their strengths and used them to set themselves apart from their competition.
2. They created a simple yet effective message that their target market would respond to.
3. They backed it up with flawless execution.
No glitz, no glamour. No flash. Just the basics. Clean, well maintained rooms. Friendly service. Convenient location. And competitive prices. They put their stake in the ground (“cleanest rooms in town”) and they stood by it. They made it work.