Brand Butler: Infusing the Butler Mindset into Brands
By Steven Ferry Chairman, International Institute of Modern Butlers | July 23, 2010
Despite national media attention, the Ritz Carlton South Beach has had a perennial problem keeping its "Tanning Butlers" over the past seven years that it has offered this service: modeling agencies keep snapping them up.
Hotels interested in attracting the wealthier set have been creative for the last two decades in leveraging the cachet (prestige) of the butler: nanny butler, fireplace butler, technology butler, pool butler, dog butler, and maybe you have others to add. All positions characterized by the offering of a narrowly defined service that has nothing to do with butlers, but the implication being that the same level of service is provided.
At the same time, the International Institute of Modern Butlers, as the guardian, so to speak, of the standards of butling, has been busy decrying this dilution of the butler name into a commercial opportunity. The Institute offered the Hotel Butler Rating system precisely to differentiate the serious efforts of hotels with real butler service from these "wannabes," so that guests would be clear on the degree of butler service being offered by any hotel they planned to visit.
The irony is that the Institute has also reached beyond the narrow confines of its own profession, and its cousin, the hospitality industry. With a persistent, some might say unwelcome, drum beat over the last six years, the need to export the mindset of the butler to all service industries (any business or organization, large or small, - whether government bureaucracy, hospital, airline or hotel staffs, etc.- wherever one person provides another with a product or service) has been developed. It is the best return-strategy for improvement of the service experience and increasing the loyalty of clients, guests, customers, patients, etal.
A case of wanting to have one's cake and eat it, too?
The Butler Goes Mainstream