Bed and breakfast success may be simpler than you think. Bed and breakfast inns can compete with other accommodation choices. We will detail ten unique ways to distinguish yourself from your hospitality competition.
1) Bed and Breakfast Success by Identifying Your Strengths
Failing to provide guests with a distinctive and positive experience can ultimately make your business less appealing and hurt your hard work. By thinking outside the box, you can overcome the challenge of a lack of a unique selling point in the bed and breakfast industry. Determine what makes your bed and breakfast unique, including your location, amenities, or personalized guest experiences (see #8).
Bed and Breakfast Success with Location Examples:
- Accessible: A B&B located near major transportation hubs, such as airports, train stations, or highways, can offer guests convenient access to nearby attractions and activities.
- Natural Beauty: A B&B located in a scenic area, such as a mountain range, a national park, or a beach, can offer guests breathtaking views and outdoor recreational activities.
- Peaceful setting: A B&B located in a quiet, peaceful setting, such as a rural area or a secluded beach, can offer guests a chance to relax and unwind away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
- Unique Architecture: A B&B housed in a unique building, such as a historic mansion, a converted barn, or a Victorian home, can offer guests a chance to stay in an unforgettable setting.
Bed and Breakfast Success with Amenities Examples:
- Free Wi-Fi: In today's connected world, free Wi-Fi is a must-have amenity for most guests, allowing them to stay connected and productive during their stay.
- Private bathrooms: Providing private bathrooms for guests is another important amenity, offering privacy and convenience.
- On-site parking: Providing on-site parking for guests is a valuable amenity, especially for travelers who have rented a car or are driving long distances.
- In-room amenities: Offering in-room amenities such as comfortable bedding, plush towels, and quality toiletries can enhance guests' comfort and satisfaction.
- Shared spaces: Providing shared spaces such as a cozy living room, outdoor patio, or garden can give guests a sense of community and provide additional areas for relaxation and socialization.
- Access to local attractions: Providing information about and easy access to local attractions, such as museums, parks, and restaurants, can enhance guests' experience and help them make the most of their stay.
- On-site dining: Offering on-site dining options such as a restaurant or cafe can provide added convenience for guests who prefer not to venture out for meals.
2) Bed and Breakfast Success by Researching the Hospitality Market
First, it's crucial to keep a close eye on your competitors and get creative with offering unique experiences that set you apart from the rest. Second, study your competitors to see what they offer and how you can differentiate yourself from them. For example, here are some strategies to implement:
The Marketplace, Your Bed and Breakfast Competition, and Competitor Reviews
- Conduct a market analysis: Research the local market to identify competitors, their target audience, and their unique selling points. This can help you identify gaps in the market that your bed and breakfast can fill.
- Visit your competitors: Visit your competitors to get a sense of their ambiance, amenities, and guest experience. This can help you identify areas where you can differentiate yourself and offer a unique experience to your ideal guests.
- Monitor online reviews: Monitor online reviews of your competitors to identify common complaints or areas where they fall short. This can help you avoid making the same mistakes and identify areas where you can exceed guests' expectations.
Your SWOT Analysis, USP, Niche Experience, & Exclusive Promotions
3) Bed and Breakfast Success with Your Brand Identity
Develop a brand identity that aligns with your unique selling point, from your logo and website design to your marketing materials and guest communications. Thus, creating a brand identity is essential for bed and breakfasts to attract their ideal guests. For instance, here are some steps to create a brand identity:
Your Target Audience, USP, Mission, Visual Identity & Consistent Language
- Define your target audience: Determine your ideal guest profile based on demographics, interests, and travel preferences.
- Identify your unique selling points (USP): as mentioned above, determine what sets your bed and breakfast apart from others in your area. This may include your location, amenities, personalized experiences, or historic charm.
- Create a mission statement: Craft a mission statement that clearly communicates what your bed and breakfast stands for and what guests can expect from their experience.
- Develop a visual identity: Create a logo, color scheme, and visual elements that are consistent with your brand identity and communicate your unique selling points.
- Use consistent language: Use consistent language and messaging across all your marketing materials, website, and social media channels to reinforce your brand identity.
Your Online Presence, Personalized Guest Experiences, & Brand Monitoring
- Build a strong online presence: Build a strong online presence by creating a website that showcases your brand identity and offers easy booking options. Also, create social media accounts and engage with your audience regularly.
- Offer personalized experiences: Provide personalized experiences that align with your brand identity and target audience. This may include customized breakfasts, local recommendations, or unique events.
- Monitor and analyze your brand identity: Regularly monitor and analyze your brand identity to ensure that it aligns with your target audience and stays relevant over time.
By creating a strong brand identity, bed and breakfasts can differentiate themselves from competitors and attract their ideal guests who align with their brand values and unique selling points. Your competitive edge must be clear.
4) Bed and Breakfast Success Leveraged On Social Media
Use social media platforms to showcase your unique selling point and interact with potential guests. Moreover, bed and breakfasts can effectively use social media to attract potential guests. For example, you may implement any of the following strategies:
Social Media Presence, Content, Engagement & Hashtags
- Create a social media presence: Establish a presence on social media platforms that are relevant to your target audience, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest.
- Share quality content: Share high-quality photos and videos of your bed and breakfast's amenities, guest rooms, and local attractions to showcase what makes your property unique and attractive to potential guests.
- Engage with your audience: Respond to comments and messages in a timely manner and engage with your audience by asking for feedback or suggestions.
- Use hashtags: Use relevant hashtags to increase your visibility on social media platforms and reach potential guests who are searching for accommodation options in your area.
Collaborations, Exclusive Deals, Guest Reviews, & Social Media Monitoring
5) Bed and Breakfast Success by Hosting Events
Host events that showcase your B&B's unique features. These events can be limited to your overnight guests or open to the public. It's always a good idea to plan these events well in advance. Remind your guests of the upcoming events. Because no two accommodations are exactly alike, you may offer different events and activities depending on your location, amenities, and target audience. Ideas like the following:
Food Related Activities & Events
- Wine tastings: Many bed and breakfasts offer wine tastings, either on-site or in partnership with local wineries. Guests can sample local wines and learn about wine-making techniques from experts.
- Cooking classes: Bed and breakfasts may offer cooking classes to teach guests how to prepare local cuisine or special dishes. Classes may be led by a professional chef or the innkeeper.
- Wine and food pairing dinners: Bed and breakfasts may offer wine and food pairing dinners, where guests can enjoy a multi-course meal paired with local wines and learn about the principles of wine and food pairing.
Other Activities, Learning Experiences, & Events
6) Bed and Breakfast Success Shared in Guest Reviews
Share positive guest reviews that mention your bed and breakfast's unique selling point on your website and social media channels. Of course, bed and breakfasts receive positive guest reviews for a variety of reasons.
For instance, here are some common types of positive guest reviews. Folllowed by what they specifically comment about:
Your Hospitality, Dining, & Accommodations
- Hospitality and Service: Guests often comment on the warm hospitality and exceptional service they receive at bed and breakfasts. They may praise the innkeepers for being friendly and accommodating, or for going above and beyond to make their stay comfortable.
- Food and Dining: Guests often rave about the delicious breakfasts they receive at bed and breakfasts, often commenting on the quality of the ingredients, the variety of options, and the presentation of the food.
- Cleanliness and Comfort: Guests often comment on the cleanliness and comfort of their rooms, praising the quality of the linens and the attention to detail in the decor.
- Romantic Atmosphere: Guests often comment on the romantic atmosphere of bed and breakfasts, especially if they are celebrating a special occasion such as a honeymoon or anniversary. They may praise the intimate ambiance, cozy furnishings, or special amenities such as candles or rose petals.
- Pet-Friendly Accommodations: Guests who travel with pets often appreciate bed and breakfasts that offer pet-friendly accommodations, and may praise the attention to detail in providing amenities such as pet beds or treats.
Your Architecture, Location, & Local Area
- Historic Charm: Guests often praise the unique historic charm of bed and breakfasts, especially if they are housed in a historic building or have unique architectural features.
- Location and Surroundings: Guests often praise the location and surroundings of bed and breakfasts, especially if they are in scenic areas with beautiful views, close to local attractions or outdoor recreational activities.
7) Bed and Breakfast Success Through Unique Guest Packages
Create packages that highlight your unique selling point, such as a romance package for couples or an outdoor adventure package for nature enthusiasts. For example, a B&B located in an area known for adventure activities, such as hiking, kayaking, or skiing, can offer guests a chance to enjoy outdoor thrills and adrenaline-pumping experiences.
Thus, bed and breakfasts offer a variety of packages to appeal to different types of guests and occasions. For instance, here are some common types of packages and what is typically included in each:
Romance & Adventure Packages
- Romance packages: These packages are designed for couples celebrating a special occasion such as a honeymoon, anniversary, or Valentine's Day. They typically include romantic amenities such as flowers, chocolates, champagne, and a special dinner or breakfast.
- Adventure packages: These packages are designed for guests who want to experience outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, or water sports. They typically include equipment rentals, guides, maps, and recommendations for nearby outdoor adventures.
Spa & Wellness Packages
Culinary & Cultural Packages
Special Occasion & Coroporate Packages
8) Bed and Breakfast Success by Personalizing Guest Experiences
Offer personalized experiences for guests based on their interests and preferences. Especially since this appeals to guests who like things already done or planned for them. Thus, bed and breakfast innkeepers can offer a variety of personalized guest experiences to make their guests' stay more memorable and unique.
Customized Breakfast, Amenities, Decor, Special Packages & More
- Customized breakfast: Offer a personalized breakfast menu for each guest based on their dietary preferences or allergies.
- In-room amenities: Offer personalized in-room amenities, such as favorite snacks or drinks, books, or games based on the guest's preferences.
- Surprise treats: Leave surprise treats in the guest's room, such as homemade cookies or chocolates, to make their stay extra special.
- Personalized decorations: Decorate the guest's room with personalized touches such as balloons or special messages for a birthday or anniversary celebration.
- Special packages: Create customized packages for special occasions such as weddings, honeymoons, or anniversaries that include personalized touches, such as a bottle of champagne or a bouquet of flowers.
- Personalized recommendations: Offer personalized recommendations for restaurants, attractions, or events based on the guest's interests.
Local Experiences, Wellness Services, Concierge Services, Personalized Tours
- Local experiences: Arrange for guests to have unique local experiences, such as a private cooking class with a local chef or a guided hike through a nearby national park.
- Wellness services: Offer personalized wellness services such as yoga classes, massages, or aromatherapy based on the guest's preferences.
- Concierge services: Offer personalized concierge services such as booking transportation, making reservations, or arranging for special requests.
- Personalized tours: Create customized tours of the local area based on the guest's interests, such as historic sites, local wineries, or outdoor activities.
9) Bed and Breakfast Success by Showcasing Your Local Culture
Highlight local culture and attractions that make your bed and breakfast unique, from historical landmarks to local cuisine. For instance, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia are all states with rich histories and diverse local cultures. Here are some examples of unique local cultures that bed and breakfast guests can experience in these states:
- Beach culture: centered around its beautiful coastline and warm, sunny weather. It is characterized by activities such as swimming, sunbathing, surfing, and beach combing. Visitors and residents alike enjoy the relaxed, laid-back vibe of beach towns such as Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head, and Folly Beach.
- Charleston culture: Charleston is a charming southern city with a rich history and beautiful architecture, known for its gardens, historic homes, and Lowcountry cuisine.
- Columbia culture: Columbia is the capital of South Carolina and is home to a diverse cultural scene, including museums, galleries, theaters, and music venues.
10) Bed and Breakfast Success Through Email Marketing
Use email marketing to communicate your unique selling point and special offers to past guests. In addition, bed and breakfasts can use email marketing to effectively communicate their unique selling points. Moroever, emails can differentiate your inn from local competitors by implementing the following strategies:
Build a Segmented Email List with Compelling Subject Line Emails
- Build an email list: Create an email list of past and potential guests who have shown interest in your bed and breakfast, either by booking with you in the past or by subscribing to your newsletter.
- Segment your email list: Segment your email list based on guest preferences and interests, such as location, past bookings, or interests.
- Use compelling subject lines: Use compelling subject lines to grab the reader's attention and encourage them to open your email.
Personalized Email Campaigns with Special Promotions, Reviews, & Attractions
- Create personalized email campaigns: Create personalized email campaigns that highlight your bed and breakfast's unique selling points, such as location, amenities, or personalized guest experiences.
- Offer special promotions: Offer exclusive promotions and discounts for subscribers to encourage them to book with you directly and differentiate yourself from local competitors.
- Share guest reviews: Share positive guest reviews in your email campaigns to build trust and credibility with potential guests.
- Highlight local events and attractions: Highlight upcoming local events and attractions in your email campaigns to showcase what makes your location unique and attractive to potential guests.
High Quality Visuals, Mobile Optimized, & Monitor and Analyze Results
- Include high-quality visuals: Include high-quality visuals, such as photos and videos, to showcase your bed and breakfast's amenities and guest experiences.
- Optimize for mobile: Optimize your email campaigns for mobile devices, as many people check their email on their smartphones.
- Monitor and analyze results: Monitor and analyze the results of your email campaigns to identify what works best and improve your future campaigns.
Bed and Breakfast Success with B&B Consulting
Rob Sales, of B&B Consulting, is a respected leader in the B&B hospitality and real estate niche. After successfully owning and operating B&B inns with his wife Jane, Rob decided to continue his career by specializing in hospitality real estate.
Contact Rob for a complimentary phone conversation if you're thinking of buying or selling an inn, or if you would like advice on making your B&B business stronger. Sellers, Rob can help you demonstrate your competitive edge to buyers. Buyers, Rob will help you decide if the inns you're looking at are a good fit for you, based on what you're looking for.