BOSTON, Feb. 15, 2013-- How do
you choose a
hotel? By the quality of service? The view? What your friends might
about the water pressure in the shower? Don't laugh.
Partners looked into the heart of what really matters when it comes
online conversation about hotel choice and has come up with intriguing
"We wanted to go beyond speculation and opinion, and really see what
drives online behavior – in this case, conversation – around different
brands," said Brodeur Partners CEO Andy Coville .
The study reveals that Hilton, Marriott,
Seasons (in that order) have the highest Conversational Relevance™ in online discussions
leisure and business travelers. The conclusion is based on an analysis
Partners and MavenMagnet
of what is "relevant"
in online brand conversation.
The Conversational Relevance™ scale
is a measure of
how much people are talking about a brand and how impactful and
conversation is. Brodeur and MavenMagnet parsed more than 18,000 online
conversations between May 2012 and October 2012 across social networks,
profiles, forums, news websites and blogs.
"We looked not only at practical
considerations but at
how the brands resonated with hotel guests' senses, values and social
which are the other dimensions of Brodeur's relevance model," said
Johnson , Brodeur executive vice president of strategic planning. "When
brand is engaging all four dimensions, it inspires strong feelings and
abiding loyalty in those who experience it."
"Using our proprietary technology, we tap
collective intellect of engaged consumers—in this case, consumers
experience about travel and hotels," said Aditya Ghuwalewala,
founder. "Our zero interference approach eliminates the risk of
conditioning thereby delivering actual insights focusing on what's
Four Elements that Drive Relevance
The top hotel brands in the analysis displayed highly
Conversational Relevance™ scores based on positive/negative buzz
with Hilton earning a 58 percent score followed by Marriott
and Four Seasons (51 percent).
The analysis dug much deeper, however,
looking at each of
the 10 brands' attributes through Brodeur's four relevance pathways:
- Functional –
Practical attributes people care about like service, location, rooms,
recreation and rewards programs. Comments in this area dominated the
conversation about hotels. Marriott, Hilton and Sheraton
were the winners here.
- Sensory –
Attributes that appeal to all five senses like the view and water
pressure in the shower (which surprisingly eclipses bed comfort in
Ritz-Carlton and Hilton led the category.
- Values –
Attributes that reflect personal values such as the hotel's service
ethic and commitment to indulging patrons. Four Seasons
- Social –
Attributes related to customer status, such as the brand's cachet. Four
Seasons dominated here, too.
The analysis further broke down results
between leisure and
business travelers. Room cleanliness, for example, means more to
travelers than leisure travelers. It's the other way around for
Leisure travelers were broken down further
those traveling with children and those without. The Ritz-Carlton
particularly popular in conversations in the former category, and
was paramount for families.
The Conversational Relevance analysis was able to
strengths that some brands could leverage and weaknesses that held
back. In addition, it identified a framework that all hotels can use in
managing their online and social communications:
- Service and location
are the biggest "functional" conversation drivers.
- Accessibility – both to
the hotel and nearby amenities – drives nearly two-thirds of online
conversations about the "functional" attributes of a hotel.
- When it comes to conversations
about rooms, size matters, closely followed by connectivity
- While there has been a lot of
investment by hotels in the quality of beds, the subject that most
people talked about in the "touch" or "feel" category was the shower,
specifically the water pressure of the shower.
- Room noise was a hot topic in
the "sound" category, particularly among family travelers. Most
of that conversation was negative.
- People talked about the "values"
of a brand in terms of what kind of service they received,
i.e., having a "service first" culture and being responsive. A
particularly important element that drove online conversation was a hotel
staff's responsiveness and personal attention to individual needs.
- The biggest driver of social
conversations is whether a hotel is "referenceable" – that is,
something travelers would recommend to others.
- That a hotel's "luxury" or
"indulgence" is a symbol of status and achievement drove a
considerable amount of conversation among business and leisure
travelers; however one-third of that discussion was negative.
- By far the biggest driver of
conversation among business travelers is whether a hotel is
considered "best in class." Social relevance for leisure
travelers derives more from peer reviews.
Why Conversational Relevance?
This study on the hotel industry is the first demonstration
new Conversational Relevance model. Applicable to any industry,
brand, person, idea, candidate or cause, the Conversational Relevance
methodology measures buzz volume, impact and positivity/negativity
relevance dimensions. At the same time, it identifies hot topics,
negative, uncovering hidden strengths on which to build a business and
that could devolve into crises.
The Conversational Relevance methodology has
a number of
- It relies on real people freely
sharing thoughts with others who have common interests about things
that matter to them.
- Since it finds conversations
where they occur, there's no location bias.
- It's devoid of any response bias
that could occur through a survey questionnaire.
"Our relevance strategy is founded on the
that creating a dominant, relevant brand is as much a science as an
said Coville. "Relevance can be quantified and, more importantly,
systematically improved to support behavior change in the people you're
to influence. Conversational Relevance is just one of our many services
deliver on this principle."
information on Conversational Relevance and
hospitality, visit http://www.brodeur.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Brodeur_Hospitality-Relevance-Audit-2.14.13.pdf.
About Brodeur Partners
Brodeur Partners is a strategic communications company that
organizations become and remain relevant in a complicated world.
in Boston, the company has five U.S. offices and operates in 33
globally. It is differentiated by its focus on relevance, behavioral
ability to bring a discipline-agnostic approach to its non-profit,
business-to-business clients. www.brodeur.com
MavenMagnet does innovative market research by leveraging the
online conversations. The company has developed a unique aggregation
analytics platform to garner rich insights keeping intact the core
of market research. Based in New York City and Mumbai, MavenMagnet
globally with capabilities to conduct research in 12 languages. www.mavenmagnet.com