Differentiating Upscale Hospitality Series: Ritz-Carlton

30-day Challenge – Day 13

An image from the Ritz-Carlton "Let Us" video

Today, I am going to highlight an ingenious new brand platform put out by Ritz-Carlton. If you don’t want to read the post and just get to the core of an exciting and counterintuitive differentiation strategy, play the video below.

Ritz-Carlton

Ritz-Carlton’s new Let Us campaign (they prefer to call it a brand platform) got my interest especially because of the reverse-psychology approach of the brand’s messaging. An antithesis to conventional hospitality marketing, the luxury brand owned by Marriott International is asking its guests to let the brand stay with them. This effort is one part of the company’s recent rebranding efforts which will include digital, mobile media, and a re-launch of the company’s website.

The Let Us advertising effort calls on customers to provide the hotelier with tips, stories, and commentary on the remarkable moments it has provided its guests. In my opinion, this is a great way to keep the brand relevant in the minds of its customers, long after they leave any of the company’s properties.

We needed a marketing message with substance that is relevant globally… Any hotel can give you great artwork and amazing sheets [but] only the Ritz-Carlton focuses 34,000 ladies and gentleman on one simple mission: to create memories for our guests. That is what luxury travelers will pay top dollar for in Oman or New York City or Beijing — a memory that lasts a lifetime.

– Clayton Ruebensaal, VP of Marketing for the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co., Chevy Chase, MD (via luxurydaily.com)

The new brand platform, which is designed to serve as the brand’s messaging, was developed in collaboration with 35,000 of its employees, who helped the branding team identify the many ways Ritz-Carlton improves the lives of its guests. The platform will be a template for all its future interactions with its target market. As such, every new ad placed by the company will feature its new signature statement, “Let us stay with you.”

Some of the channels being used for the new brand platform include:

  • A new and interactive web site that allows customers and brand advocates to share stories about Ritz-Carlton’s high-touch service;
  • A Ritz-Carlton mobile application as well as social media integration via foursquare and facebook;  and
  • A promotional video highlighting the service and events that set its each of its properties apart from other hospitality chains.

In its bid to differentiate itself in a highly competitive environment, Ritz-Carlton is hoping to separate itself from other industry players by engaging in what may become a continuous feedback loop that lets the brand stay with its guests long after their luxury stays are over. If you pay close attention to this industry you will continue to see more of these differentiation strategies.

If you don’t have the time or energy to read on all the hospitality trends, then stay tuned to lessonsinluxury.com. I promise to keep you updated.  More on hotels tomorrow.

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