Hotels are confronting a curious situation when it comes to selling rooms: Price remains the foremost factor they signal to customers, even though travelers increasingly book stays based on other considerations. And brand loyalty? Fewer travelers care about it.
Richard Solomons, chief executive officer of InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), refers to this as understanding “the consumer vernacular.” Consider, for example, how often you see a price in a Google (GOOG) Play or Apple (AAPL) iPad commercial: approximately never. ”They rarely talk price points,” he says of successful brands. “They talk needs and occasions.”