by Rick Wolf of The B&B Team In a highly competitive environment, we in the Bed and Breakfast / Country Inn Industry are faced with the dilemma of how to compete while maintaining the integrity of our business and our Inn’s reputation. Most assuredly, how we price our rooms and services has a huge impact on our bottom line; however it is a topic worth discussing. Let’s take a look at how value and price enter into this equation.
Value is defined as worth or importance; the adequate or satisfactory return on or recompense for something. Things have value, or are of value, or are valued.
Price is defined as cost of something bought or sold; to state or fix the exact price that a customer or consumer must pay for something. Things have a price that may or may not have value.
As Innkeepers, we are always striving to find that perfect balance of the highest level of hospitality, service, and amenities while offering our guests the best possible rates and for us, at the lowest possible price. Quite a daunting task!
Quality has a price, but the price is either one of value or not. If there is value in the eyes of the guest, then there is inherent quality. Simply because the price is low (or cheap), may not be an indicator of value. Yes, we all have made expenditures and commented that the price was really inexpensive and how we were truly amazed at the value we really did receive for our dollar. Why? Because we received good value and quality.
For the most part, we understand the concept of “no free lunch”, “no free rides”, or “something for nothing”. Human nature cautions us when it seems to be “too good to be true” that it usually is” too good to be true! While there are no absolutes, when we see the above, we are often confronted with an experience of disappointment and one that is, most likely lacking in value and quality too.
In conclusion, providing value, and even better, added value, for the price is a far better position for any business to stake out, position themselves and then own that business model. Anyone can be cheap but this is an indefensible marketing position, because only one can be the cheapest. When price becomes the driving force, everyone loses! This is not a position to build a brand or level of service or hospitality on.
It is a far stronger and superbly defensible position to be the provider of quality, service and hospitality, with value. Tie this in with authenticity, your legacy and promise and you have created a brand marketing position with ground rules you own. Take the high road and let everyone else chase you; the standard bearer of a quality experience that offers true value, customer satisfaction and the ultimate measure of success for any brand…repeat and profitable business!