Hotels, motels, B&B’s, inns, resorts and campgrounds all satiate our basic needs while we’re away from home: physiological, safety and belonging. Most offer the facilities we need to feel good about our visit – a place to eat, a place to sleep, a place to relax, a place to wash up, and on and on. So why do we prefer one venue over another?

Because of the stuff that’s outside the room: a venue’s voice, cost of switching and room for dessert.

A venue’s voice is generally loud and clear, for better or for worse. Either we get it and want more or don’t get it and move on. A voice is easy to recognize and sets a tone that conjures up the imagery its target audience will grab ahold of. The voice, if it’s good, will tell us everything we want to hear every step of the way regardless of where we hear it – social media outlets, primary web pages, online travel agencies, our first phone contact, e-mail and maybe even a tweet.

How we feel about a venue’s voice will determine whether or not we calculate the cost of signing up for a night or two.

We determine the ‘cost of switching’ every day for almost everything. The cost of switching is simply what we’d give up to go from Option A to Option B. Maybe it’s money, maybe it’s a feeling, maybe it’s a tradition or maybe it’s time. Either way, there’s got to be a compelling reason (a voice) for us to give up that motel that’s reasonably priced, close to home and a tradition every year when you go south for that resort that costs a bit more money and time and is more uncomfortable because it’s new.

We’re only willing to give something up for something else (the cost of switching) if we think there’s something more out there for us – room for dessert.

If you’re sold on the voice and comfortable with the cost, then there had better be room for ‘dessert.’ Dessert, in this exercise, may be more of what you just experienced or maybe it’s a taste of something you didn’t even know a venue offered like a spa you’ve just got to experience next go around or the happy hour everyone within fifty square miles goes to. Whatever the dessert is, you’ll only be interested in it if you were sold on the voice and all in on the cost of switching.

Hotels, motels, B&B’s, inns, resorts, glamping ground and campgrounds, need to think outside the room. Even differentiated products need a strong voice, a reasonable cost of switching and room for dessert.

If you need to find your voice, would like some help crunching those cost of switching numbers or just want to know what’s for dessert – we’re your guide. We can get you the places you’ve always wanted to go with the guests who have always wanted to be there.