Editorial Board

Mr. Bernstein

Laurence Bernstein

Managing Partner, Protean Strategies

During a highly successful 20 year career, Laurence Bernstein launched and nurtured numerous global hospitality, foodservice and financial service brands, on behalf of global advertising and brand marketing firms. Prior to working in advertising, Mr. Bernstein cut his teeth in sales and marketing with Westin Hotels. In 1998, in response to the rapidly changing marketing environment, he founded the boutique strategy and research agency that he now runs, Protean Strategies. From its inception, the firm has led the way in experiential branding -- converting attributes, features and benefits into relevant and differentiating experiences that form the underpinning of real brand-centric growth. This led to the seminal idea of “modern luxury”, first posited in a 1999 white paper published in the Cornell Quarterly, which now underpins the entire boutique category. In 2012 Mr. Bernstein started Protean Hospitality Partnerships, a marketing advisory consultancy focusing on the hotel and resort business. Recently, the firm published a widely quoted study of how consumers engage on an emotional level with hotel brands. In the consumer research field, Mr. Bernstein developed the first psychoanalytic approach to market research, Inner Directives Archetype Studies, that has been used by more than 20 automotive brands to understand the underlying relationships between people and their vehicles. Inner directives has also been used by hotel companies and travel organizations to better understand and cater to their guests and visitors. The Protean Guest Experience Audit system is an inexpensive methodology to help hotels understand what guests actually experience at the property level, using an interactive, real time methodology. In addition, Protean is recognized by Forrester Research as a leader in the exciting new field of Predictive Market based consumer research. Mr. Bernstein attended the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg and Cornell University School of Hotel Administration. He has published numerous articles on hospitality brand and guest experience design and has been invited to lecture at Cornell University, University of Toronto, and many associations including the inaugural Leadership Seminar presented by the Boutique and Lifestyle Hotel Association.

Mr. Bernstein can be contacted at 416-967-3337 x101 or bernstein@proteanstrategies.com

Coming up in January 2018...

Mobile Technology: Relentless Innovation

Technology has become a crucial component in attracting and retaining hotel guests, and the need to enhance a guest’s technology experience is driving a relentless pace of innovation. To meet and exceed guest expectations, 54% of hotels will spend more on technology in 2018, and mobile solutions in particular will top the list of capital investments. Many hotels are integrating mobile booking, mobile keys, mobile payments and mobile check-in into their operations. Other hotels are emphasizing the in-room experience, boosting bandwidth and upgrading flat screen TVs to more easily interface with guest mobile devices. And though not yet mainstream, there are many exciting technology developments on the near horizon. The Internet of Things (loT) is taking form in some places, and can be found in guest room control systems, voice activation systems, and in wearable sensors that can be used for access and payment options. Virtual reality headsets are available at some hotels so guests can enjoy virtual trips to exotic locations or if off-property, preview conference facilities and guest rooms. How long will it be before a hotel employs a fleet of robots for room service, or utilizes a hologram as a concierge, or installs gesture-controlled walls that feature interactive digital displays? Some hotels are already using augmented reality for translation services, or interactive wall maps, or even virtual décor. This pace of innovation is challenging property owners and brands to stay on top of the latest technology trends while still addressing current projects. The January Hotel Business Review will explore what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in the mobile technology space.