I recently stayed at a five-star hotel and found a major marketing problem lurking in the wardrobe in my room.
Upon check-in I was welcomed enthusiastically, and my membership status recognised with a room upgrade. I was even presented with a welcome gift to thank me for my loyalty.
I made my way up to my room and my luggage was promptly delivered to my room by the cheery concierge.
At this point, I have paid just over $300 to the hotel and had my credit card authorised for a further $100 for incidentals.
I opened the wardrobe to hang up some clothes and my heart sank. With 5-6 positive touchpoints in my experience so far — all that said ‘we value your loyalty’ — I was now faced with coat hangers that say ‘we assume you’re a thief’.
I realise that in the scheme of things, annoying coat hangers that are permanently attached to prevent theft is a pretty minor issue. But it’s still sending a covert message that belies what the hotel is going to great lengths to communicate overtly.
Come on hotels, you can do better. If you really do value my loyalty, give me some proper coat hangers. I promise I won’t steal them.