About Overnight Success

In 2011, we decided to build a booking system that would make the lives of small hoteliers better. Today, that thing is Inn Style.

Along the way, we got a lot of things wrong, and plenty of things right. Hopefully we're more knowledgeable about business, software and hospitality as a result.

Overnight Success is a collection of thoughts, experiences and advice for people running accommodation businesses. Perhaps there's a wider appeal, too. Thanks for reading.

Overnight Success Business. Software. Hospitality.

The importance of brand consistency

Lots of clever people will tell you that brands are stories. And in order to explain the importance of brand consistency, I need to tell you a little story of my own.

A long time ago, I worked with a man called Peter.

I’d speak to Peter almost every day on the phone. So much so that he stopped introducing himself when he called. He simply started talking.

That wasn’t a problem; I could recognise his voice instantly. He had an authoritative tone, but he was occasionally warm and funny.

Peter was a new Account Director in our London office. I was a lowly accounts junior in Ipswich. I imagined he was a real city slicker: tall, sharp-suited, well-groomed.

Except six months after he joined, I met him. I was being introduced to lots of our London colleagues by Martin, who also worked in Ipswich.

“This is Peter,” said Martin. “Peter, this is Chris.”

“Hi, Chris.” said Peter.

I remember my ears realising Peter was indeed Peter and trying to inform my brain. But my eyes were busy telling my brain that the Peter I was looking at was not the Peter I was expecting to see.

Peter, it turned out, wasn’t tall, sharp-suited and well-groomed. He was a little overweight, a little scruffy, with a big, fluffy head of hair.

I stood there a bit muddled.



You’ve probably known your own Peter.

And the Peters in our lives can teach us a valuable lesson about branding and brand consistency.

Wally Olins, one of the most respected names in branding (and founder of the insanely successful agency Wolff Olins), says this of a brand:

“Wherever a brand has a ‘touchpoint’ – that is, an interaction with an audience – it needs to look, feel or behave like itself.”

When it doesn’t, your perception of the brand changes:

  • What if the hotel’s been recently refurbished according to their Twitter account, but their website hasn’t been updated for 14 months?
  • What if your expensive wine was served in a plastic glass?
  • What if the person in the call centre was helpful, knowledgeable and made some pragmatic decisions in order to retain you as a customer and make you happy?
  • What if Peter doesn’t look like the Peter you imagined?

Strong brands are not built with logos or straplines. These are just the triggers that remind us of the consistent interactions (good or bad) we’ve had with a brand.

Want to build a strong brand? Of course you do.

Your task, therefore, is simple: make sure every interaction your customers have with you is a good one.

Get the best of Overnight Success without even trying

Inn Style is an accommodation owner’s best friend. Think of it as an online diary, booking system, and payment processing machine rolled into one simple-to-use tool. There’s no software to install, you simply add a few details and start your free trial immediately.

You’ll be guided through the setup process – adding your rooms (or cottages, caravans and tents), prices and any rules (such as minimum stays). Inn Style lets you embed a beautiful, mobile-friendly calendar onto your website, so potential guests can see availability and book online instantly. Your availability will be updated in real-time, so you’ll never have to worry about a double booking again.

What’s more Inn Style can handle all your credit and debit card payments safely and securely – without any clunky card terminals or expensive, lengthy contracts. Visit our website for more information or call our friendly Suffolk-based team on 01473 487350.