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Today's customers accumulate experiences, says Ritz Carlton's President Herve Humler. Therefore, luxury hotel marketing is all about creating an experience. To the extend, that for Ritz Carlton marketing has actually become an operational platform - “let us stay with you.”
Elite Traveler Editor-in-Chief Douglas Gollan interviewed Herve Humler, President & COO of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company to see how much more growth is possible, how technology will change the luxury hotel experiment and if rich people like points programs too. Here are some of his remarks:
“It’s about creating an experience. Today consumers accumulate experiences. Our marketing has actually become an operational platform – “let us stay with you.” It is an invitation to the customer to stay at our hotels, but with an emotional focus. It is about creating memories for the customer. It’s the big things and the small things.
“We’ve launched a series of videos: “The Art of the Craft,” which pull back the curtain on how we create memories from the perspective of a wine sommelier, housekeeper, chef and shoe shine valet as examples. It’s a story to tell the customer. There is a tremendous amount of dedicated craftsmanship and that is part of the experience. It’s about the passion for what we do.”
“Our mobile application is a good example. We had over 200 of our concierges provide tips from their own city or places they know well, and we are constantly updating them.
“The concierge recommendations are also on Foursquare, so if you go to the Brandenburg Gate and check-in there, you get recommendations from the concierge at the Ritz-Carlton. In Hong Kong it could be where to get the best noodle soup. We want to help build the stories.
“We want to use technology where guests want technology. So an example could be you arrive at the airport and on your phone you get your check-in information, and then use your mobile phone to go up the elevator when you get to the hotel and right up to your room.
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