By John Hendrie
Our hotel terminology has become more bellicose and contentious as we compose, frame and wage our efforts for consumer awareness and recognition of our various brands.
In the last several years, we have had the Bed Wars, then we moved into the Amenities War. We are always ramping up our escalation of strategies and tactics to remain competitive or to take the lead. Now, we are even looking at the experiential–surely a stealth movement.
We pour millions into reconstruction that purport to offer more lodging options, new hotels, and renovated or converted properties. We surgically strike using our political capital to crush global movements which threaten some standardization of product and service in our businesses.
And we debate in every forum available our position(s) on wages and health care, perhaps not understanding that this audience represents the very face of hospitality, in many cases, our ambassadors to the public.
The messages and actions have become blurred and the objectives less than decisive and distinctive.
Many in the hospitality industry are doing a wonderful job. Some destination marketing organizations are expert at rallying their troops, soliciting opinions, being inclusive, and focusing on results.
The same can be said for many trade and professional associations. Some corporate entities have forged the way to enhance the guest experience. And in every community we have individual contributors, who run thoughtful and inspiring businesses.
But, what about the poor consumer, who watches all of our machinations? The consumer is perhaps influenced by our marketing–confused when they see our standings in terms of wages paid and industry/staff turnover, and disappointed when they are tempted to the hospitality landscape. Have we granted them refugee status?
All they want is value for the price, expectations met as advertised, and, preferably a memorable experience. In some eyes, we have lost the battles, compromised the war, and wasted the whole enchilada. We can do better.
Let's make sure to keep our industry machinations within the industry. Let's focus all our public relations on creating a special experience for our hotel guests. Let's not let our internal problems worry our potential clients.
Is this possible? With keen focus on the guest, anything is possible. The better hotels get it right, while some poorly managed hotel marketing departments fail. Having our guests sleep soundly, without worrying if the ceiling will collapse, is our goal. Let's never forget this!
By John R. Hendrie
CEO, Hospitality Performance, Inc.
John Hendrie believes that Remarkable Hospitality is the portal for the memorable Visitor Experience. Contact him at www.hospitalityperformance.com with your comments.