How we created GauVendi - an interview with Markus Mueller - Founder and Managing Director
How did you come up with the idea of GauVendi?
My partner Carina and I spent years discussing that hotels always talk about selling experiences but, in reality, they don’t. The crucial moment for us to decide that we have to do something about it came when we did a site visit of one of our member hotels from our last employer. Every room was different and there were unique stories attached to them. So we started to discuss and explore concepts of how a hotel like that could actually sell their rooms, using their heritage and unique identity to stand out from the market.
What is your favorite feature of GauVendi?
We created various frameworks within GauVendi which allow hotels to sell experiences and stories. We don't have room types but room feature combinations. Each feature combination can have a unique name, making it appealing to guests. So if a hotel has a room which is not as differentiated by individual features or attributes but has a great story behind it… like the Queen stayed in that room or a famous author, this room can be named accordingly without limiting the hotel selling the room using traditional room categories at the same time.
How has your international experience helped you create this tool?
Living in Asia I dealt with many resort hotels that had fierce competition. I have also worked in the Caribbean and various countries in Europe, providing me with a number of viewpoints from across the industry. One element remains the same... differentiation is critical in driving higher RevPar premiums. When creating GauVendi it was important for us that hotels are able to really differentiate themselves at the Point of Purchase. This is a significant difference to getting a reservation and trying to upsell afterward with other attributes. We wanted to drive value perception at Point of Purchase, which is a critical moment for building the brand, setting customer expectations and differentiate yourself from the competition.
What comments or feedback are you getting from the industry?
We get enormously encouraging feedback… particularly from people who understand the importance of brand perception and with marketing backgrounds. Revenue Managers also see the significant new way of pricing and revenue management opportunities with the GauVendi retail philosophy - which we are delighted with.
Why did you decide to launch now?
Our solution requires that people think differently and when better to do this in the biggest crisis tourism had since World War 2. Covid-19 is forcing hoteliers to adapt and reduce costs. They should be focusing on customer experience and bringing the customer back to booking direct. Times of crisis can often lead to innovation.
What are your goals for GauVendi over the next 12 - 18 months?
As travel restrictions are lifted and tourism recovers, we are keen to improve our user experience and possibilities to their fullest. In particular, I am excited to enhance our revenue management module of the tool and how the e-commerce best practices will perform compared to traditional ways of room type selling….watch this space!
Interested in learning more about GauVendi and how it can help you boost your bottom line while maintaining a strong brand presence? Book a demo today!