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Showing posts from 2011 News of the Week

New Zealand targets youth in latest “Stories Beat Stuff” campaign, entirely in Social Media Wyndham Will Trade You Two Million Points for Your Horrible Holiday Gift New Research Points to Significant Growth In Multigenerational Travel  Mandarin Oriental Bets on Rich Content to Increase Conversion Hotel lobbies become multi-use spaces HOSPIALITYBRAND.COM ANALYSIS: The Hotel “Social Lobby” Trend Goes Mainstream + Ceases to be a Competitive Advantage Design Hotels Transforms an Existing Budget Hotel + Launches the 99 CabaƱa Pop-up Camp with Papaya Playa in Tulum, Mexico

The Hotel "Social Lobby" Trend Goes Mainstream and Ceases to be a Competitive Advantage

A decade ago, hotels began differentiating themselves from their competition by reinventing their lobbies as social spaces, introducing unique f&b concepts, promoting lively lounge bars, and even reducing the size of the front desk to increase guest interaction.   These properties began to define their brands by their hotels' social lobby design; however, today's USA TODAY article Hotel lobbies become multi-use spaces details how every major brand now features "social lobbies".  Any hotel defining their brand by their "social lobbies" is no longer differentiated.  The "social lobby", just like the specialty beds of last decade, has gone from being a point of differentiation to being a point of parity. The predecessor of the modern hotel were the Inns & Public Houses of years back--a place of social gathering for locals and travelers alike.  When Atlanta's Hyatt Regency Hotel opened in 1967, it was the first atrium hotel to be News of the Week

Fashion School Students Dress Rooms as a Designer Would Dress Model in New 1-5 Star Single Hotel Retro Hotel Brand, The Postcard Inn, Opens Second Property Hotels Start to Enter Into Airline-Like Alliances: Jin Jiang Inn and Campanile Form Brand Alliance HOSPITALITYBRAND.COM ANALYSIS:  THE POWER OF THE LOYALTY PROGRAM New Hotel Brand: The Saguaro New Startup Allows You to Book your Hostel and Connect with Other People Staying There Starwood Preferred Guest Announces Partnership With Jiepang—the Chinese Equivalent of Foursquare

The Power of the Loyalty Program

Image  courtesy of American Airlines Today's chapter 11 announcement by American Airlines is a strong reminder of the power of customer loyalty and most importantly, of the contemporary significance of the frequent flyer program. To provide a little bit of background, American's AAdvantage program is credited as being the first loyalty program in the world, having launched in 1981. Currently, it is one of the largest (if not the largest) of such programs with 67 million members. Fast forward to today:  American Airline's parent company AMR has filled for Chapter 11 , and AA sent an email to all it's AAdvantage members . What is immediately clear from that email is that AA wants everyone to know that (a) their miles are safe and (b) the program will not be altered as part of these reorganization procedures. See the  entire letter Here Airlines enter into Bankruptcy through what seems to be a never-ending revolving door. The real news is that their frequent

Brand Management is Revenue Management, move them to the same department.

If every encounter a customer has with the brand either helps or hurts the brand value, then everything in a business comes back to brand management. And if the goal is to maximize revenues, then brand management is revenue management. This is why these two roles should be moved into the same department to enhance collaboration. As the recent article, Reputation management is Revenue management , hotel industry is starting to see the power of this relationship between Branding and Revenue Mgt... just starting. But even five years ago the people in charge of brand management (at the corporate or property level rarely ever talked to the Revenue managers. They were secluded to opposite sides of the building, the brand and marketing people seen as 'those people who have their heads in the clouds while everyone else does the work' and the revenue folks on the other side were 'those people who crunch the numbers while everyone else does the work'. Unf

What is The Ritz Carlton Reserve Brand?

Photo Courtesy of  The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company    With recent news of the second Ritz Carlton Reserve property set to open in December 2012 as the Dorado Beach, a Ritz Carlton Reserve in Puerto Rico, the question is:  What is the Ritz Carlton Reserve Brand? The announcement of the brand came in 2007, when it was described as: A departure for Ritz-Carlton in size and scope, The Reserve brand will feature signature, one-of-a-kind boutique resorts located in choice settings, each with a distinctive personality and sense of place...  The Reserve brand will be distinguished from other award-winning Ritz-Carlton resorts by offering guests' exotic, hand-selected "hideaway" destinations; a relaxed, casually elegant atmosphere; and an even greater level of individualized service through a higher staff to guest ratio. ( source ) In short, this is a brand extension of smaller hotels (around 100 rooms), distinct destinations, and higher level of service.   Today's des

Oyster's in-photo booking engine. Gets them to the call to action fast! has launched Oyster Shots , with the ability to browse hotels by their pictures and not based on where they are geographically (ie their city).   Instead, the user is invited to scroll through hotels grouped in photo categories such as:  beaches, balconies, kid friendly hotels, luxury bathrooms, cabanas, etc.  Even better, you can see the hotel's average rate (not sure how they are calculating this) and click to book right from the page.   This is getting advertised as an in-picture booking engine, which is not.  You cannot input your dates and see rates right from the picture, but its very close to being one; however, it is a very well positioned call to action.  More importantly, it highlights the importance placed by customers and retailers on getting the call to action in as many places and as easily accessible as possible.   If you are a hotelier and your website does not have a booking engine, which is prominent,  on every single page, its time to update your s

Continental and United Merge on Twitter... it's official now

I never thought it would happen, but it did.  United and Continental Airlines have officially completed their merger, in twitter at least.  Merging airline systems is a complicated, long, and tactical task.  According to a recent New York Times article , Delta and Northwest had to swiftly integrate 1,200 separate systems while going through their own merger. One would think that, at the very least, merging twitter accounts would be one easy integration to get right.  But it didn't turn out that way for Continental/United.  In the process of merging handles they have lost the over 337 thousand followers the old individual accounts had.  The new account @united only had around 6,000 followers today.  Starting from scratch on twitter would seem like the right thing to do if they were trying to set up a new brand identity, but that can't be the case when you keep the United name and the Continental livery. The photograph after the jump shows the master merger guide Delta used

When Social Media is Mean

Photo:    Some rights reserved  by  Sean Durham Why must we forget all Marketing Principles and our Brand Voice when it comes to Social Media?  My lady was stuck at an airport during a snow storm on her way home last December with minimum information.  I quickly turned to twitter to find out more; what I found was a picture of the plane she was supposed to be in, snowed in at the tarmac.  She had been at the airport for over 8 hours by that point.  I wanted information on how many planes where landing/taking off, etc. as the airport's flight status web page was not being updated.   Turns out, sometimes too much information is not necessarily a good thing when it comes to social media, you never know who might be watching.   Full screen caps from twitter at the bottom--her plane actually took off about 4 hours after the time mentioned below:

Telling your CEO he's not allowed to have a twitter account

Photo:    Some rights reserved  by  Dustin Diaz When do you tell him?  A couple months after he opens his account, the "cool" wears off as he stops logging on, and not answering messages from customers.   A couple months ago I had an issue with a certain low-cost, SE Asian, hotel chain that will remain nameless.  I had emailed one of their customer service managers, and it was taking upwards of 10 days to get an answer.  I did the next logical thing, got on twitter and sent a public tweet asking if I could get a response.  Ta-Da, like magic, I got an email within a few hours, my question was not answered, so I emailed back, waited another 3 days, no reply, got back on twitter.  I waited another 3 days and nothing. Looking through the company's old updates, I noticed they had linked to their CEO's twitter account.  So again, I did the most logical thing and sent him a public tweet.   It took me 3 days to get a reply from this CEO, saying that his team was on it.