Branded Service Culture

Situation: A Fortune 500, multi-brand hospitality company conducted extensive market research on its hotel brands, and the industry in general. Findings:

1. The hospitality industry was becoming increasingly commoditized, and

2. The internet was driving brand switching, based on readily-available price comparisons.

A clear need emerged for the company to better differentiate its hotel brands from one another, as well as from competing brands. The goal was for each of the company’s brands to own a distinct mindshare in the marketplace, creating consumer preference beyond price-based decision-making.

Action: The ideal guest experience was defined for each of the brands, integrating unique combinations of marketing, facility design features and service style. To build brand-appropriate service cultures among employees of each hotel group, targeted messaging and deliverables were created for every stage of the employee life cycle: recruiting & selection, orientation & onboarding, learning & development, rewards & recognition. A training curriculum was crafted in a flexible, modular format, and in a phased approach, offering daily message reinforcement toolkits, beyond the initial rollout. The methodology encompassed expectation-setting, resources, and accountability at executive, managerial and line staff levels throughout the brands, as well as with the vendors who interacted directly with guests, such as parking attendants, security and food service personnel.

Results: This initiative refocused and recommitted employees around the world to consistently deliver a distinctive and memorable guest experience. According to executives within the company, this initiative has been “a staggering success.” Significant improvements have occurred in both internal and external measurements, including employee engagement, guest satisfaction and intent to return and refer.