Hospitality Marketing and Branding

HF 762: Hospitality Marketing and Branding
Section A2 | Fall 2020


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                               Brand Diagnostic                 

(40% of overall class grade)



  • The objective of this assignment is to have you apply the branding content that we will learn during the semester to an actual brand.


  • You will be required conduct a brand diagnostic on a brand of your choosing within any aspect of the hospitality industry (hotel, restaurant, airline, travel agency, theme park, museum, etc.). Please submit the brand you would like to assess for my approval by emailing me ( and, in just a few sentences, state why you selected the brand. Please do this before the start of class on Thursday, September 17, 2020.
    • A brand diagnostic is a brand audit; however, beyond simply examining the brand’s “status quo” via-a-vis competitors, I would like you to provide forward-looking recommendations and advice to the brand manager for that brand.
    • Approach the assignment like you would if you were an external branding consultant hired by the company to help them shape the future of the brand.


  • The brand diagnostic will comprise two phases: the audit and recommendations. This list of guidelines for each phase below is not exhaustive but will guide you to think about what you will want to include.


  • You don’t have to structure the assignment as per the guidelines; again,
    they are meant to have you think about the content of your diagnostic.







Defining the Brand


  • Brand purpose/mission/vision
  • Brand equity analysis using Keller’s Brand Resonance Pyramid


  • Rational drivers of equity
  • Emotional drivers of equity
  • What needs does the brand satisfy for customers?
  • Brand definition: personality, character, voice


  • Brand archetypes
  • Brand positioning: what differentiates the brand along key rational and emotional attributes (think perceptual map)


  • Competitive points of parity
  • Competitive points of difference
  • Brand architecture analysis


  • Where does the brand fit into the company’s overall brand architecture?How does it relate to other brands in the same product category?


  • What role does the brand play in endowing the corporate brand with equity? What brand equity elements does it derive from the corporate brand? (flows of brand equity)


Understanding the Customer


  • External environment analysis
    • Analyzing the industry and how it is changing
    • Wider, macro-level societal, cultural, economic analysis
    • Implications of COVID-19 for the brand. How has the brand responded and how does it need go going forward?
  • Brand evolution: Has the brand evolved over the years, or has it remained largely static? Has the evolution been consistent with customer needs?
  • Target customer
    • Profiling: Who is the customer?
    • Evolution: How have the needs of the customer evolved,
      vis-à-vis the product category? (Hint: looking for external research reports may help)


Mapping Touchpoints


  • Brand element analysis
    • Logo, colors, design, etc.
    • How do the brand’s elements compare to those of competitors? What do they convey? What equity do they impart to the brand?
  • Brand experience touchpoint mapping: what about the experience makes the brand unique? Which experiences are “ownable” by the brand?
    • Offline/In-person
    • Online
      • Brand-controlled
      • Customer-generated
        • Social media listening
        • Other sources
      • Brand Storytelling
        • What is the brand story? How does the brand rate on telling compelling stories via its various touchpoints?
        • What are the key content areas that the brand taps into? What content areas could it tap into?
        • How does the brand fare on being “authentic”?
          What imparts authenticity to the brand?



Note:               Competitive Assessment—In addition to auditing the focal brand, identity a list of competitive brands that you can benchmark it against.

You don’t have to focus your analysis/audit on the competitor brands, but these may be useful in discussing points of similarity/difference and giving your audit better context and texture.





  • What are your recommendations for the brand based on the findings from Phase 1: The Brand Audit?
  • Your recommendations could pertain to any of the points from the brand audit: purpose, personality, positioning, storytelling, etc.
  • Please be as specific as possible in your recommendations:
  • Your client—the brand manager—should be able to identify, understand, and enact your recommendations.






  • Please upload your assignment as a PDF on Blackboard by end of day
    (11.59 pm) on Thursday, December10, 2020.


  • Formatting Guidelines:
    • Word count: maximum of 20-25 pages of content
      (Word document/PPT/Adobe Spark Page).
    • Please use relevant images, hyperlinks, embedded videos etc.,
      to demonstrate the key aspects of the brand audit.


  • You will lose points for:
    • Not uploading the assignment as PDF.
    • Missing the stated deadline.

Not following any other instructions provided in the assig

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