Monday, January 26, 2009
In the hotel industry, they talk about amenity selling because amenities can set a hotel apart from its competition’s price point, because a hotel’s core product (the bed and shower) functions the same as most everyone else’s. But, when you sell your core product with amenities wrapped around it, the opportunity for rate variation and “apples to oranges” comparison selling exists within the marketplace. Amenity selling is a perceived value, not concrete, that can lead to greater revenue opportunities from your client base.
For example, a majority of hotel customers can quickly compare room rates at one hotel to the room rates at another hotel, but a hotel’s customers’ estimation varies greatly on the dollar amount that they will pay for items like turn-down service, indoor pool, Wi-Fi, free breakfast, express check in/out, frequent stay clubs, tennis courts, theme decorations, amusement/water parks, ocean/beachfront views, twenty-four-hour restaurant, spa, golf course, casino, shopping outlets, location of the hotel, bars, etc. These are all examples of amenities that wrap around the core product (the bed and shower) that raise room rates and cause variation within the same product line and competitive set.
What about roadside assistance plans from the auto makers, another amenity? What about the fast food industry, have they not sold us on an amenity we call the drive thru? What about the emerging use of accepting debit cards as payment in businesses (flexible payment options) around someone’s core product line? What about the laundry detergent bottles that have a “no-mess bottle?” Just one more example in a long list of products that sell amenities around their core product line.
Look all around and you can see that most businesses have an amenity to sell in one form and fashion, but have you really put great thought into amenity selling for your marketing campaigns to increase your pricing points and acquire more customers? Probably not, but why? Examine your business unit’s amenities that are in place now, and what could be added, so that you could wrap them around your core product line to create rate variations within your marketplace and gain greater market share, thus growing your bottom line.