Student Blog: Rethink Hospitality, 5 Simple Thoughts to Ponder

22 April, 2016
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While working on our daily tasks, we sometimes simply forget to keep track of the news and ongoing developments in our industry. What was the hospitality industry talking about this week? I am convinced that each small news article has some kind of basic thought we should think about. So, a short selection of seemingly random articles, but when put into a broader context, they complement each other & are very interesting to reflect upon. From "unadvertising" to the power of “hello” and farmers' markets in hotel lobbies… how could these thoughts be implemented in your organisation? Have fun reading them: I hope it gets your creative juices flowing.

It is All about Content
Why should you “unadvertise” your company? Small Luxury Hotels (SLH) recently introduced this with its new marketing campaign, in which they banned the professional imagery that’s often used in the industry’s marketing efforts. The campaign suggests that SLH’s guests are simply “too smart to be convinced by cheesy stock images and saccharine copy”. It actually is a creative effort to let us rethink marketing in a way. Read more here.

Keep your Friends Close - your Farmers Closer
Another way to put a company on the market is the following. Hoteliers go one step further in creating a local image: the NY Times published the articleFarmers’ Markets go from Sidewalk to Hotel Lobby: local food producers set up their stand to sell local produce to hotel guests. Besides getting your greens, it’s a great way for hotels to facilitate cultural exchange! It has to suit the overall concept though! A couple of interesting examples are listed in the article.

Home is Where the Heart is
Also Airbnb dives deeper into the experience economy by launching its new marketing campaign “Live There” and by introducing in-app guidebooks which include insider tips from Airbnb hosts. Besides, the company has found a way to leverage the huge amount of personal data it has gathered from its users: Airbnb now works with a ‘matching system’ which matches personal preferences with homes, neighbourhoods and experiences offered via the platform. Interesting how these developments will continue. Find more info here.

Social media is about the People - not the Business
We all know social media is becoming more and more important in the hospitality industry. Consumers want to be connected with brands anytime, everywhere. Last week’s introduction of Facebook messenger’s bots caused something of a stir. An article in the HBR suggests to introduce “cross-functional social care teams” to build lasting one-on-one relationships with consumers. But if implemented, the system must be carefully managed in order to ensure it actually adds value. Let’s see where this trend goes… Want to read the full article? Click here.

A simple Hello could lead to a million things
What’s the power of hello? It’s always a good thing for hotel staff to greet guests. But still outside of the five-star segment, often the only hello guests a getting is during check-in – when there is actually no way around it. I think it is the very basic foundation of providing hospitality – which we sometimes simply seem to forget. Read this amusing article by Larry Mogelonsky to know more about why we should refocus on this very basic aspect of providing hospitality.

About the author

Nick Hurkmans

As a fourth-year Hotelschool Student I am brainwashed to think from the guests'​ perspective. I learnt to let the customer be a brand's compass in everything it does - for example in strategy development, finance, change management & business model innovation: a brief selection of courses which I have followed at Hotelschool The Hague.

Currently I am experiencing how the Polish lifestyle hospitality industry is developing, as Brand Experience Management Trainee at PURO Hotels. Besides that I am looking forward to the summer school on Competitive Strategy & Game Theory that I will attend this summer at the London School of Economics. 

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