Editorial Board   

Mr. Ashen

David Ashen

Principal and Founder, dash design

David Ashen is a principal and the founder of dash design, an award-winning New York-based interior design and branding firm specializing in hospitality and retail projects.

Known for his ability to tailor each project to answer clients' specific business needs, Mr. Ashen and his design team update spaces and reinvent brands. Clients include market leaders and Fortune 500 companies from all over the world including Shanghai, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Philadelphia, Cleveland, New York City and Aruba.Among the recent high-profile hotel projects to dash design's credit are: the multi-million renovation of the Lexington New York City hotel; the Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino; and restaurants at the Mandarin Oriental in Shanghai.

Rather than a signature style, Mr. Ashen and dash have a signature philosophy: that design equals strategy. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Human Factors Engineering at Tufts University, then a Masters of Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania. After his entree into luxury retail at Peter Marino, he spent five years - from Director of Retail to Principal - at desgrippes gobe, one of the world's largest independent branding firms. Accounts included Reebok, Unilever, Target, and Peugeot; he created the first consistent global retail image for Godiva, and helped the company expand in Japan and China.

In 2000, Mr. Ashen's first hospitality project - XL Lounge - attracted serious media attention. A year later, Mr. Ashen left desgrippes to launch dash design. dash's work is all about context and reinvention. “To me, there's nothing richer than collaborating with client and partners to produce a project that is innovative and thoughtful,” Mr. Ashen says, adding, “It's not about adding to my portfolio. My success is solely about whether our work helps my client succeed.”

Please visit http://www.dashdesign.net for more information.

Mr. Ashen can be contacted at 718-383-2225 ext. 201 or dashen@dashdesign.net.

Coming up in February 2019...

Social Media: Getting Personal

There Social media platforms have revolutionized the hotel industry. Popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Tumblr now account for 2.3 billion active users, and this phenomenon has forever transformed how businesses interact with consumers. Given that social media allows for two-way communication between businesses and consumers, the emphasis of any marketing strategy must be to positively and personally engage the customer, and there are innumerable ways to accomplish that goal. One popular strategy is to encourage hotel guests to create their own personal content - typically videos and photos -which can be shared via their personal social media networks, reaching a sizeable audience. In addition, geo-locational tags and brand hashtags can be embedded in such posts which allow them to be found via metadata searches, substantially enlarging their scope. Influencer marketing is another prevalent social media strategy. Some hotels are paying popular social media stars and bloggers to endorse their brand on social media platforms. These kinds of endorsements generally elicit a strong response because the influencers are perceived as being trustworthy by their followers, and because an influencer's followers are likely to share similar psychographic and demographic traits. Travel review sites have also become vitally important in reputation management. Travelers consistently use social media to express pleasure or frustration about their guest experiences, so it is essential that every review be attended to personally. Assuming the responsibility to address and correct customer service concerns quickly is a way to mitigate complaints and to build brand loyalty. Plus, whether reviews are favorable or unfavorable, they are a vital source of information to managers about a hotel's operational performance.  The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to effectively incorporate social media strategies into their businesses.