Value innovation places equal emphasis on value and innovation.

Value without innovation tends to focus on value creation on an incremental scale, something that improves value but is not sufficient to make your hotel stand out in the marketplace to have a good view of what your hotel is offering now. And your hotel might identify that some of these offerings are irrelevant but have never been questioned due to long-held industry standards.

Innovation without value tends to be technology-driven, market pioneering, or futuristic, often shooting beyond what employees and customers are ready to accept.

Digital transformation today represents a dramatic change in conditions and character. It is as much about people as it is about new technology.

The difference often between innovation and transformation is speed or lack thereof.

Value Innovation and Digital Transformation starts WITHIN your Hotel Organization

Value Innovation and Digital Transformation starts within your Hotel OrganizationOver the last years, we have seen exceptional growth in hotels investing in new technology. And the COVID-19 pandemic forced many hotels to make these investments sooner than anticipated and planned.

In many of these cases, the investments did not come as a result of a value innovation or a digital transformation process. These investments came more as a result of FOMO (fear of missing out) and/or FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt).

Hotels have for a long time been in a red ocean market.

Red Ocean markets

** Red Ocean – represents all hotels in existence today – the known market space, where the hotel industry boundaries are defined and try to outperform their rivals to grab a greater share of the existing market. **

With new technology, hotels have continued this focus which has turned the ocean bloody red.

Value innovation and digital transformation are all about the people!

Hotels today have to focus on a shift towards a blue ocean market.

Blue Ocean markets

** Blue Ocean represents a simultaneous pursuit of differentiation and low cost to open up a new market space and create new demands for the hotel industry. It is about creating and capturing uncontested market space, thereby making the competition irrelevant.

To achieve operational success in a blue ocean market hotels must invest in exceptional digital experiences for their employees.

Digital Transformational Speed

Digital transformational speed represents the ability of machine learning and automation to accelerate every business function, as well as enable new innovative processes that adapt and improve on their own.

It also represents a smarter focus on new tools that apply machine learning to give employees and customers the real-time insights they need to make better decisions.

But the most important aspect of digital transformational speed lies in creating a culture that focuses on exceptional employee experience and change management.

Successful transformation requires dedicated investments in communication, collaboration, and community. Don’t make the mistake just because you opened the doors at your hotel again to assume employees will come back and pick up where they left.

Employees and Value Innovation

Value Innovation starts with your employeesBoth with value innovation and digital transformation hotels must prioritize employees before technology.

Many hoteliers today tend to make the introduction of technology more complex than it needs to be.

Value innovation is all about mindset and creativity.

Just take one example from Hilton. Hilton UAE introduced a ‘Waitographer’ program. Here they brought onboard a professional photographer that guided the staff to a rigorous workshop to improve their photographic skills. Upon completing the workshop, staff will receive a certificate and badge, the latter of which will be worn so guests can identify these new ‘Waitographers’.

This is a brilliant way to combine value innovation and digital transformation in a highly effective and relevant way.

The principle here is to introduce ideas that inspire and embrace ownership for employees.

How Hotels has comprised value innovations

How Hotels has comprised value innovationsAs a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many hotels find themselves in a situation where it is challenging to retain and attract employees.

Yes, hotels have to start with creating a new culture around the employees. But this won’t mean that they should exclude technology and the customer experience. Hotels that create a new culture around employees, also implement processes that embrace technology and the customer experience in a more effective and valuable context.

The primary focus of value innovation is differentiation and low cost.

Through differentiation, many hotels tend to focus on what they can offer more to stand apart from the competition. Instead, they should have focused on what they could eliminate or reduce that would eliminate costs.

And the result for hotels ends up in higher costs and higher prices for customers.

On the other side low-cost hotels tend to focus on what offer less of. Here they think about what they can eliminate and reduce in their current offerings. Instead, they should have focused on what they could improve to increase the value of the offer.

And the result here ends up in comprising value innovations for both employees and customers.

A New Future for the Hotel Industry

Our goal for the future of hotels is to create exceptional employee and customer experiences.

Will the hotel industry ever get to a point where it can retain or attain the number of employees that are required to run a fully booked hotel at any given time?

The answer here is NO!

One thing is for sure and that is that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the hotel industry forever. In the past, the hotel industry has been among the most resilient industries through challenging times.

Now the reality is that the hotel industry is among the most volatile.

Whether we like it or not technology is going to play an important role in the future.

The key is that we have to look at value innovation and digital transformation in a context that embraces
employees and technology in harmony with each other. I can’t understate enough the importance of this point. Missing this point will force a lot of hotels to close their doors.

Given the fact that hotels will struggle to retain and attain employees, we have to start looking at alternative solutions.

Despite these facts, I believe in a bright future for the hotel industry.

You might ask WHY I believe this.

Digital Hotel NFT Rewards

NFT RewardsI already indicated that a successful transformation requires dedicated investments in communication, collaboration, and community.

As I indicated in the example from Hilton UAE mindset and creativity are essential for creating a context that embraces employees and technology in harmony with each other.

Recognizing that a digital transformation brings on both challenges and opportunities is why I believe in a new bright future for hotels.

The future lies in NFT for hotels.

NFT stands or non-fungible tokens. In theory, it means that a digital asset is unique and can’t be replaced with something else.

Most NFTs are part of the Ethereum blockchain. NFT can be used for anything in the digital world. Most common today are art, music, and licensing.

Hotels will in the future start creating a Digital Hotel NFT Reward marketplace.

These rewards can be used with employees and customers.

Travelers that can make it to a hotel and use their booking can resell their NFT tokens on the marketplace to cover the cost, and even make a profit.

And for employees, this is a unique opportunity for ownership and partnership with the hotel and their career.

Invest in people! Start to educate on NFT, or anything digital like TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Crypto, etc.

What I learned from working at a grocery store is that people will start using digital coupons more actively when it comes to relevant and attractive rewards they have to get in the dedicated store. Not to mention the benefit of digital coupons it gets more people downloading the store’s app.

Over to you

The hotel industry is always changing, especially during a time of crisis. Make sure to future-proof your business and continue attracting new guests by investing in these solutions.

Ready to take your hotels digital transformation to a new level?

Hire a digital transformation coach for a new and bright future!

Contact Are Morch – Digital Transformation Coach today!

Related article: Remarkable Crazy Ideas: The Blue Ocean Strategy for Hotels

We are in this together!

I need to let you all know that we are in on this together.  If you need to vent, talk, cry, or just have someone to talk with, I am here listening. Since I am working part-time at the local Kroger, I will best work it out around my schedule to the best of my ability.

Where to reach me


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Also, join us at our Facebook Group – Hotel Social Media Community

We will get through this unprecedented event together! #hotelstrong #hospitalitystrong

For any specific information on COVID-19, I recommend going to CDCWHOAHLAAAHOA, and HSMAI. Also, follow information from your local authorities.


The hotel industry still is facing some uphill challenges. Make sure you follow their guidelines and say THANK YOU to those that now show a unique spirit to serve, and help us all get through this!! #hotelstrong #hospitalitystrong

About Are Morch

Hi, I am Are Morch. Your Digital Transformation Coach helps hotels create unique and unexpected experiences by freeing up resources to focus on new ideas through value innovation and a growth mindset.

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