29 Nov Branding a Hotel Through Name Badges
Imprint Plus serves hotels with a custom name badge program.
A hotel’s staff should be approachable and easily identifiable. Many hoteliers have realized that the go-to solution is Imprint Plus, the leader in reusable name badges across 60 countries worldwide. “It’s really part of a first impression,” says Imprint Plus CEO Marla Kott. “The name badge you wear, if it’s beautifully crafted with your logo, really matters. In many companies, the name badge is the only branding material that marries up with the employee and this affiliation is important to them. If you enter a fabulous restaurant and the employee doesn’t have your brand badge, you’ve lost the opportunity for a successful and lasting introduction.”
Standardization is another reason hotels turn to Imprint Plus. The company has helped hotel executives, on a corporate level, to control costs and communicate a collective brand identity. At this level, name badges have surpassed necessity to become a vehicle for brand building, as well as engaging and serving the guest.
“This is an opportunity to have one solution for 10 brands or 20 brands,” says Kott. “We want it to work with the same methodology and a cost structure that is consistent for everyone. The ability to produce each badge immediately in-house, really helps our customers stay true to their brand in the face of growth, seasonal change and employee turnover.”
It’s a process that involves meeting with each brand manager to evaluate the various styles, colors, shapes and sizes that are available to them. Each brand, uniquely designed, should have a tailored badge, all the way down to the font size. The white 1×3 badge has proven to be a very popular choice, but more hotel companies are experimenting with color and trending toward larger badges. Gold badges are traditional and elegant, while silver has grown in popularity amongst hotels that want a modern look.
Brand managers should also consider how they want employees to introduce themselves to their guests. Imprint Plus offers a variety of badge talkers that help break the ice. Hotels that want to emphasize the international nature of their staff can display a staff member’s home flag right on their name badge. Hotels that want to add more personality can include a line that communicates interests, hobbies or other relatable facts such as “I love skiing” or “I’m a chocoholic.”
“That’s part of the experience,” Kott says. “The employee that serves the person is part of the experience. That’s what people realize today. The badge can be as funky or as elegant or as unique as you need it to be.”
Name badges are a niche market, but one in which Imprint Plus has built a solid reputation and become a category leader. Imprint Plus, a women business enterprise, now serves 30,000 customers in 60 countries, including nearly 8,900 hospitality properties. Kott says nearly 40 percent of their customers have come as referrals. Now it’s time to let the secret out to a wider audience.
“We are endorsed by so many yet are not that well known,” she said.
“It’s one of those behind the scenes products. For us, it’s been word of mouth. People use the product, they like it, they recommend it or they move to a different job and they start to adopt our product in a new position.”
One thing that sets Imprint Plus apart is its patented process for assembling name badges. The software is a signature product that can be hardcoded to ensure consistency for a brand. Imprint Plus gives hotels a do-it-yourself kit that enables one to print and assemble multiple badges on the spot without waiting two weeks for individually ordered badges to arrive.
“Some people are still doing that,” Kott said. “They’re going online and paying quite a bit of money for a personalized badge with a logo on it. You order 10 at a time, so you end up with a ton in your drawer.”
Instead, with Imprint Plus, it takes less than one minute to create a badge.
Imprint Plus has also become a partner in sustainability efforts of many hotels.
“Hospitality, by the nature of the industry, has a lot of waste,” Kott says. “Having something reusable was absolutely critical. You can have a badge you only use once, but in today’s recyclable world, the opportunity to reuse badges and reduce your footprint matters to every single one of our hospitality partners.”
Going green hasn’t been a new effort, either. Imprint Plus made its commitment to sustainability in 1996 which has since been incorporated it into all aspects of their corporate life. They buy materials made from recyclable and select suppliers that share their eco-conscious values.
“That matters to us, and it matters to our customers” says Kott. “Our badges are eco-friendly, but they’re still a great product. The quality is there and it’s something you can feel confident about. After all, it’s your name all over it!”
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