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 March 2018...

Human Resources: Value Creation

Businesses must evolve to stay competitive and this is also true of employment positions within those organizations. In the hotel industry, for example, the role that HR professionals perform continues to broaden and expand. Today, they are generally responsible for five key areas - government compliance; payroll and benefits; employee acquisition and retention; training and development; and organizational structure and culture. In this enlarged capacity, HR professionals are no longer seen as part of an administrative cost center, but rather as a member of the leadership team that creates strategic value within their organization. HR professionals help to define company policies and plans; enact and enforce systems of accountability; and utilize definable metrics to measure and justify outcomes. Of course, there are always new issues for HR professionals to address. Though seemingly safe for the moment, will the Affordable Care Act ultimately be repealed and replaced and, if so, what will the ramifications be? There are issues pertaining to Millennials in the workforce and women in leadership roles, as well as determining the appropriate use of social media within the organization. There are new onboarding processes and e-learning training platforms to evaluate, in addition to keeping abreast of political issues like the minimum wage hike movement, or the re-evaluation of overtime rules. Finally, there are genuine immigration and deportation issues that affect HR professionals, especially if they are located in Dreamer Cities, or employ a workforce that could be adversely impacted by federal government policies. The March Hotel Business Review will take a look at some of the issues, strategies and techniques that HR professionals are employing to create and sustain value in their organization.