ITB Berlin – like always – is a real inspiration. Lots of traffic in the aisles and at at-visions new booth, where people were looking for innovations regarding guest facing technologies. This year especially integrated Hotel TV solutions based on smart TVs or mobile apps for better communication with guests. Already visited some conference sessions and at least 3 things stick to mind.
First, just a side remark made about the difficulties of segmentation. Take a profile of 2 guests: both men, both millionairs, both from UK, both in their late 60ies or early 70ies – a quite narrow segment and quite similar yes? Well, think about Mick Jagger and Prince Charles.
Funnily there was another mention of the Rolling Stones this day, in a session about branding. They had some really disruptive music back then, but did they chose to reduce their differentiation to the music only? No, they dressed disruptive, they had a disruptive hairstyle – it was not only the music but everything. Be different, be unique, be first – a message brought forward by a certain Jean-Claude Biver in a very lively talk. He was the CEO of Hubot (luxury swiss watches) and he is looking for Concierges to manage his branches. When he approaches them they deny and explain that they don’t know how to sell watches – that’s when he tells them thanks god, because we don’t sell watches. We sell experiences, service, emotions, fun, sometimes even things money can’t by – so a concierge is a perfect fit.
And that’s true not only in the luxury watches industry. As Mr. Biver rightfully said, nobody buys a 10.000 Euro watch just to read the time. Luxury is about experiences and emotions and thats very true for the hotel industry too.
Thats driven by China and the story isn’t over yet as the next slide clearly showes.
So china is going to keep the ball rolling big way for years – or even decades – to come. This is really good news for the industry we all love, isn’t it?