Start with the Guest, and with an Attitude
By Jonathan Barsky Partner, Market Metrix | March 30, 2014
Brands with the highest levels of loyalty and retention have something in common: a clear understanding of who they are and who they are trying to serve. They know what part of the market they own. They have an attitude and provide a unique, memorable experience to their guests. Here are a few examples:
In 1981 Bill Kimpton had a dream: provide travelers with comfort, style, a nice glass of wine and a good meal. This dream gave birth to the boutique hotel concept and today, with 60 hotels, Kimpton Hotels is one of the fastest growing and most popular hotel companies in the world.
Positioned at the top end of the economy lodging market, Red Roof Inn has created a base of loyal, raving fans by providing exceptional value: clean comfortable rooms; a friendly attentive staff and a low price. That recipe has been a huge success. Red Roof has 345 inns in 36 states, employs over 6,000 people and serves millions of guests each year.
In 1865, luxury hotel operator Langham Hospitality Group opened Europe's first 'Grand Hotel' in the largest building in London. It came with hot and cold running water in every guestroom and the world's first hydraulic elevators (known as 'rising rooms'). Today, the brand covers four continents and continues to set a visionary example for the hospitality industry.
These three very different brands share a critical element fundamental to their success. It's their attitude. Each brand has created a distinct identity, recognizable across their properties. This personality is evident everywhere, from marketing communications, facility design, and services offered to individual contacts with front line workers. Although each brand developed its own unique personality, these companies are successful because they follow a similar evolutionary process. They all started with a vision, then measured their success in delivering on that vision, and continued to use feedback to keep the vision fresh and alive.
1. Create a Vision