Frequent travellers know that hotels can be a blast from the past. But HTL, one of the latest additions to the Scandinavian hotel scene, wants to rid itself of murky hotel habits like expensive wifi and bland lounge music.
Music at HTL Hotels
They’ve adopted a modern and lively approach to hospitality while retaining high quality, top-notch service at reasonable prices. Guests can use their phones as room keys and check in online before arriving.
HTL recently teamed up with Soundtrack Your Brand to engage with guests through music. We met HTL’s Brand and Commercial Director, Gül Heper, and Therese Fredriksson, the Cluster General Manager for the Norwegian hotel locations, to talk about the hotel’s music strategy.
How do you work with music?
Gül: For now we mainly play music in our big lounge areas. One of our hotels in Stockholm also has speakers facing the street, but that’s mainly an extension of the lounge playlists. We want the music to stay in the background so there’s room for conversation. We never want the music to be so loud that it takes over. We want our guests to enjoy themselves, but see no need for them to have to shout at each other. There are other places for that. In the morning, the music is calm, toward midday it becomes more uptempo, and by the evening, it has a higher pulse.
What made you want to sign up for Soundtrack?
Therese: Many of our guests enjoy our music, and ask how they can get hold of it. Now we can tell our guests “great that you enjoy our music, now you can listen to it wherever you are in the world.” Guests can listen to our playlists before they stay with us, while they stay, and keep the playlists afterward. It’s become a great way for people to have a long-term relationship with the HTL brand.
How long did it take to get started with Soundtrack?
Gül: It was fast. We’ve worked with curators Magnus Rydén and Alf Tumble for a long time, even before they began working for Soundtrack Your Brand. They had already created playlists for us. To switch to Soundtrack, we only had to replace the streaming boxes, which was easy.
Why did you opt for our curators to make custom soundtracks for you?
Gül: We had workshops with Magnus and Alf even before we had a hotel. We identified the brand values and then worked out what music suits us. We came up with the keywords “international” and “enthusiastic.” Our guests should get the same brand experience at any point of contact. In our playlists, on our website, or from our staff. It has to all make sense together and connect to the same feeling. Music plays an essential part in brand consistency.
”Guests can listen to our playlists before they stay with us, while they stay, and keep the playlists afterwards.”
How do you engage with your guests through your music?
Gül: We give people the chance to follow us on social media. We have a widget embedded on our website which allows for that, and we have “follow us on Spotify” on our TV screens. We have the same message on our food and beverage menus since we can imagine that our guests could sit in the lounge and think “I really like this music.” Now they know where to find it. Our hosts are also always on hand to answer any questions about our soundtrack or anything else. Before they couldn’t, as it used to be a case of “well you have to be here to listen to it.” Now our guests can be anywhere and enjoy HTL’s playlists.
HTL’s three tips on how to work with music in a hotel:
- Identify the music that links best to your brand and target group
- Make it accessible at every contact point with your guests and of the highest quality.
- Dare to engage with your guests and share your music.