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A study in the hospitality industry shows the importance of design, including during a pandemic.
06 October, 2020
Credit: Drazen / Adobe Stock
- Ohio State University researchers found that the right type choice drives up donations in the hospitality industry.
- Warmth-focused versus competence-focused messages were matched with handwritten or machine-written typefaces.
- This research could help restaurants and hotels make targeted design choices as they struggle to survive.
<p>Want people to take your business seriously? You might want to rethink using the Papyrus on your business card.</p><p>The medium is the message, even when it comes to choosing a typeface. That's the consensus from Ohio State University researchers behind a <a href="https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/IJCHM-05-2020-0462/full/html" target="_blank">new study</a>, published in the International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management. </p><p>Huiling Huang and Stephanie Liu, in the Department of Human Sciences, wanted to understand effective corporate social responsibility (CSR) marketing. They pitted two different messages—warmth-focused versus competence-focused—and two different typeface styles, either handwritten or machine-written. </p><p>CSR initiatives are important social and brand drivers in hospitality. Restaurants and hotels donate a percentage of sales or ask for contributions outright for causes they want to align with. This charitable endeavor raises money for organizations while making consumers feel like they're contributing to something important—a feeling that's (hopefully) transferred to the business sponsoring the event. </p><p>The authors cite Chili's raising over $72 million in customer donations for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital since 2002. The restaurant chain uses the tagline "the power to fight cancer is in your hand" as a call-to-action at their locations. </p><p>The researcher notes that CRS marketing is even more important in hospitality during the COVID-19 pandemic. </p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Based on the global Edelman Trust Barometer report, 81% of consumers consider a brand's involvement of CSR as the deciding factor of buying from the brand during COVID-19 and 65% claim that organizations' responses to this crisis will greatly influence their brand choices in the future."</p>
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