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Wall of sweetness
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Hotels have always been masters at small thing marketing. Perhaps unawares, but still masters. We are talking of the people who had ideas like the notice in the bathroom reminding you to be mindful of environment protection when having your towels washed. This, before environmental consciousness took hold and became fashionable: not a minor deed!
Such little things can be a powerful content engine, a lifeblood for being closer to your guests, both online and offline.
I was in the hall of the Bianca Maria hotel in Milan, in the beautiful building designed by Portaluppi, and I was waiting to talk to the manager, when my eye was caught by a wall with a lively arrangement of glass containers full of colour marshmallows.
They were at the customers’ disposal, with some branded candy bags available to those who wanted to take some sweets home.
Disclaimer number one: complimentary sweets are not a new thing for hotels.
Disclaimer number two: I hate marshmallows, and was therefore not affected by the sugary temptation.
Having said that, such a wall arrangement in a hotel hall has quite an aesthetic impact: guests are made to feel curious and interact with the hotel. Therefore I like it.
Sitting in front of a cup of coffee with the manager, I inquired a little further about the wall of marshmallows. Like many good ideas, it sprang from a desire to do something new. It is a straightforward offer of comfort, and a limited investment with a positive return. In an ever-connected world, the sight of a guest smiling is the best litmus test for success.
Why not go further, and bring this value online, too?
By assessing the return on TripAdvisor and social networks. Promoting the sharing of the ‘wall of sweetness’ (the name is my creation, and if the hotel should decide to adopt it, I hope they will thank me with a gift of chocolates, not marshmallows) on channels like Instagram or through the popular and rampant selfies.
Just a few extra connections which can give a fuller value to an already good idea.

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