A hotel client of mine has made miraculous strides over the past few years. Started just six short years ago, they have transformed themselves from a U.S.-based mid-scale hotelier to a global upscale branded boutique hotel. In the process of changing their value proposition, they have been recognized by JD Power as the best of their class. Not bad for the new kid on the block. They have effectively elevated their level of cool, while smoothly entering the upscale landscape.
Even though each one of their hotels looks different (and they have 39 of them), they use three words to describe the personality associated with all of their hotels: vibrant, curious, and original. The following takes a look at each one of those qualities, plus a few that I added just for good measure.
Vibrant. From the colors and designs that adorn the lobby, to the personalities that greet you at check-in, vibrance abounds. This client has done a masterful job of creating a cool, fun vibe at each of their hotels. At the same time, individual establishments possess a uniqueness that resonates within the local community. And the local community is important to each hotel. They reach out to their neighbors and allies in the community in order to be a destination for conversation, power business meetings, tasty delectables, or whatever other eclectic flair neighbors desire to summon on a given day. As a result of their commitment to the concept of vibrant, their hotels exude vibrance at every turn.
Curious. There is youthful and authentic curiosity that is part of this organization’s culture. They sincerely want to learn about each one of their guests. Not from a nosey or intrusive way, but from a sincere curiosity standpoint. Curiosity is the cornerstone that drives their service culture. They figure the more they know about a guest, the greater their ability to tailor their service to make the guest feel welcomed. Like many hotels, their team members offer to help guests with luggage, packages, and other items they may be carrying. However, it is the marvelous questions they ask, and the empathetic manner in which they assist people that sets them apart.
Original. When we talk about original, we are really discussing differentiation. One of the ways this brand differentiates itself is by being one of the few “pet-friendly” hotel establishments in the industry. No, there are not Great Danes running rampant through the halls. Each hotel has dedicated pet-friendly rooms in order to serve furry friends. Sound proofing, fanatical cleaning, and courteous guests keep pets unnoticed by those who may not be so animal-inclined. The fun, cool, and authentic vibe is another way that this hotelier is original. When you enter the hotel it just looks like everyone is having fun – it’s contagious, so new guests just naturally join the fray. Nice.
Passionate. Being rated best overall, as well as tops in seven out of eight JD Power evaluation categories is no easy task. By the way, the eight categories are: Reservation, check-in/check-out, guest room, food & beverage, hotel services, hotel facilities, cost & fees, and overall satisfaction. In other words, this hotelier gets it right from start to finish. How many businesses can boast the same? From the time a potential guest contacts this establishment, through the booking and check-in phase, they get it right. Further, they help their guests enjoy their stay by nailing the room experience - sight, sound, smell they call it. Then, the service at the hotel, as well as their food and beverage takes over. During their guest’s visit, they also ensure that their facilities offer an exceptional experience and their costs and fees are seen as a bargain. This may sound simple, but it takes a passion for excellence in order to consistently deliver these goods across a 39-unit organization.
Driven. It would be easy for this youngster to rest on their laurels, and bathe in their success for a bit. Not so with this passionately precocious upstart. They want to expand the fan base that enjoys the cool and calm that is part of this hotel’s authentic vibe. The leader of each hotel also believes they can achieve anything. After all, look what they have accomplished in six years. Across the company they are committed to expanding the awareness of their brand, turning guests into devotees, and broadening their geographical market. As such, their mantra has become PowerOn!
Bottom Line: Leaders and their teams deliver results that create brand perception in consumers. Whatever consumers perceive of us in the marketplace is our true and real brand. As such, seek to deliver the kind of product, service, and quality in the manner by which you desire to be remembered. Be well my friends, and whatever brand is associated with your flag, fly it proudly!
Are you curious about the name on the flag that flies above the unique and rocking brand highlighted in this narrative? Read a few of the comments below and the identity of these ingenious hoteliers will be revealed.
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