This morning I attended a brand reveal for a Marriott hotel slated to open half a block from my venue in/around January. This particular collection of hotels is highly customized to the community in which it resides so there was a lot of detail discussed in the 1.5 hours of the actual presentation.
One thing that occurred to me during the presentation was that you should only pay for brand design that you have the budget to execute. The amount of money they are going to spend executing the branding vision is going to be significant.
When the designers started talking about the brand values that would be embodied, a couple struck me as concepts to be embraced by arts and culture organizations.
One was – we are not docents, we are friends-in-the-know. The other was – we are not interested, we are invested. These statements seemed to embody the nuanced difference between good customer service and great customer service.
If you had two people working at the front desk and they each provided the same information to guests, but there was something you couldn’t put your finger on that made one of them seem superior to the other, something akin to these two concepts are likely to be present. The better service comes from someone who isn’t just doling out information, but makes you feel they wish they were going with you or want you to have the same great experience they had when they were there.
So now I am letting these ideas percolate in my brain as I look around at our operation and think about how that can manifest at different points in our visitor experience. (Though I suppose we shouldn’t give people the impression we wish we were accompanying them when they ask directions to the restrooms.) Of course, however we decide that should be embodied in our building should be present where ever we are representing the organization outside out facilities as well.
Let me just point out that these are not entirely new concepts. In terms of marketing, they are a variation on Trevor O’Donnell’s “Gal In Starbucks” test from six years ago that I have written on a number of times. This is something the arts and culture industry should have been working toward for a few years now at least.