Unique Lodges of the World by National Geographic is an example of successful branding in the hospitality industry. I was fascinated by the brand from the first discovery. This article analyzes the brand concept and what makes it so unique and attractive to travelers.
National Geographic Lodges represent three key elements:
1. Hotels in unique locations of the world.
2. Rare, inspiring, custom experiences of nature and local cultures.
3. Protection of the surrounding habitats and cultures. Sustainable tourism. Support of local communities.
The central organizing thought of the concept is providing travelers with one-of-a-kind experiences in the unique destinations around the world and helping to sustain and preserve the nature and local communities.
What sets Unique Lodges of the World apart is the combination of two leading offers:custom and truly unique experiences of nature and cultures and an opportunity to be part of meaningful actions that support local communities, natural resources, work of National Geographic's explorers, scientists, storytellers, and innovators.
This concept is very competitive now and will be in the future as more and more people are looking for experiences rather than accommodations. Also, travelers are very conscious about sustainability and prefer businesses that run "green" operations.
The brand's central organizing thought or brand promise is delivered through experience, service, voice, and environments.
The brand stays true to its promise of one-of-a-kind experiences. It starts with the location. Lodges are located in the destinations that are so remote and so unique that visiting the destination itself give guests an unforgettable experience.
The brand goes further and offers authentic activities to the local environment and unique for travelers. For example, private nature walks with a wildlife biologist, sleeping beneath the northern lights in tundra camp, exploring rock art heritage, and learning about Creole traditional dancing and food.
The brand promise of exclusive, unique, authentic, meaningful experiences is delivered through high-quality personalized service. It starts from the website where travelers can search not only by destination but also by activity. Every Lodge has precise information about various experiences available as well as sustainable practices at the destination. The website is very vivid, detailed, user-friendly, and in line with the brand promise. It makes travelers trust the brand. Customized service starts with the reservation. Guests have to request a reservation at the Lodge, and travel specialists tailor a travel experience based on guest's interests, assist with the logistics, and ensure an exceptional experience from booking to returning home.
The brand concept is delivered through following services:private guides, cooking classes with local chefs, interactions with naturalists or wildlife biologists, traditional art workshops led by local artisans, walks with staff members to learn about eco-friendly facilities and green practices, private architecture tours, Young Explorers Program for kids and many more.
"A Collection of Lodges that inspire," "Settle in and stay awhile," "Taste the world" communicates the brand's promise of unique inspirational experiences.
"Your exceptional stay, sustaining an exceptional place" adds an essential element of supporting local communities and preserving nature while having an exceptional experience.
"When You Travel with Us, You Make a Difference" focuses on the brand's dedication to sustainability.
The keywords that define the brand are: Magnificent; Authentic; Sustainable; Unique.
The brand concept is delivered through the unique and authentic design of the properties, such as comfortable common spaces that fit the destination, beautiful grounds, breathtaking views. Lodges designed to be an organic part of the local scenery, community, and lifestyle and built and operated with sustainability in mind. The design of the Lodges provides guests with a real sense of place, and tells the story of the destination, highlights its natural and cultural heritage.
To conclude, Unique Lodges of the World is a strong brand that delivers on its promise. It's a clear extension of the National Geographic brand and values to the hospitality business. The brand has the right balance of emotional - unique inspirational experiences and rational - sustainability of nature and culture. The brand gives the traveler a real intangible value of emotional connection, inspiration, adventure, interaction, tasting, collaboration, and meaningful actions.