Monday, March 16, 2015

Marriott’s advertising campaign: A new and interesting way to attract attention to a hotel, isn’t it? (By Yi Tien Tsou)

“Make everyone feel comfortable being who they are, everywhere they travel” (“Whoever You Are, Wherever You Go”, para. 1). This phrase has become a slogan for a number of Marriott hotels during the last year. The essence of the chosen ad campaign is to support the ideas and choices of the same-sex couples. Marriott decided to cooperate with a famous photographer, Braden Summers, and introduce certain powerful images of gays, lesbians, transgender representatives, and bisexuals as evidence that cannot be neglected. Several popular models, like Jason Collins and Geena Rocera, were invited to the campaign. It helped to attract many tourists from different parts of the world and make them choose Marriott as a hotel to stay in. However, a question takes place – whether the chosen approach is effective enough not to frighten away those consumers, who cannot understand or accept the role of same-sex relations.
About advertising
Marriott pricing strategies are usually based on promotions and sales campaigns. A hotel should introduce an idea and offer it to the customers in a proper way. The hotel may not use several campaigns at the same time on a regular basis. Hotel managers find it successful enough to create one powerful idea and develop it till it works. The essence of any ad campaign is to share a single idea, attract people, and use it until it helps to sell a product. People have to hear about a hotel, evaluate an idea, and make a decision whether to address it or not. However, an idea offered for a campaign should not be offensive for a person or affect someone’s life. Considering such definitions and peculiarities, the effectiveness of the campaign by Marriott hotel may be doubtful.
About a campaign
#Love Travels and cooperation with Braden Summers help the hotel to have its images on the streets of New York, San Francisco, and Washington (Nelson). Of course, it is wrong to believe that a few people may know about Marriott hotels, still, now, more people know that Marriott is one that supports an idea of same-sex relations. The hotel encourages its guests and travelers to share their emotions, experiences, and stories about how it is to be in a relation with a person of the same sex. It should not be another kind of incommodity to overcome or a challenge to survive. A visit to a hotel should be a chance to tell a story and help other people to understand the life of gays and lesbians in this cruel world.
About the question that bothers
Is it a good idea for a hotel to demonstrate such a bright and powerful theme for discussion? On the one hand, everything seems to be quite normal: people, who face challenges demonstrating their priorities in relations, may find a kind of support in a hotel. On the other hand, it is necessary to remember that there are still many people, who do not want to understand same-sex marriages. They have children and do not want these children know about the possibility to begin relation with a person of the same sex. So, is it justified for a hotel to attract one group of people with narrow-minded interests at expense of another group of people, who do not want to understand the same idea? Is it so effective? In addition, can a hotel put itself under a threat of being called prejudiced with an issue of same-sex relations using this topic for its campaign?



About the Author

Yi Tien Tsou is a student at the Collins College of Hospitality Management, Cal Poly Pomona, with a major in Hospitality Management. He is taking Dr. Kwok's course because I want to learn about sales, adverting, and public relations. This is Yi Tien's second years and second to last quarter before he graduates. Besides going to school full time, Yi Tien is also working at a tea shop called Ten Ren’s Time Tea in Arcadia. 

References: 
Nelson, Sara. “#LoveTravels: Marriot Hotel Social Media Ad Campaign Welcomes LGBT Community.”Huffington Post UK 4 Jun.2014. Web. 24 Jan.2015.
“Whoever You Are, Wherever You Go - #Love Travels.” Marriott News Center 2 June 2014. Web. 24 Jan. 2015.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

9 Tips to Succeed in a Career Fair

The annual Hospitality Career Expo in the Collins College of Hospitality Management at Cal Poly Pomona will take place between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm on Feb. 19. There are 68 companies participating in this event. If a student wants to meet with the managers or recruiters from every single company on the list, he or she would only have three minutes or less for each one. Then, how can a job seeker or a student stand out from the crowd and hopefully secure a job/internship offer?

I share some tips on MultiBrief. They are:

  1. Study and rearrange the company list. Group the companies into three categories of "dream employers," "potential employers" and "employers with not much interest." Focus on the "dream employers."
  2. Prepare 30+ copies of resumes.
  3. Purchase a portfolio.
  4. Purchase a nicely-cut business outfit. The key is to have nice dress that fits. No need to carry any designer's accessories.
  5. Maintain a "clean" look. Clean-cut from head to toe.
  6. Practice self-introduction. A job seeker only has 1 - 2 minutes to make a good first impression. So, a very short but nice self-introduction is critical.
  7. Prepare a few questions to ask the recruiters.
  8. Keep the schedule open for the whole day and show up early.
  9. Follow up after the fair.

Visit http://bit.ly/lk020915 to read more. What else should a job seeker do to prepare for a career fair?

Good luck to everyone who is looking for a job!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Are Academic Researchers Trapping Themselves in Producing Scientific Research?

Earlier this month, I attended the 20th Annual Graduate Education & Graduate Student Research Conference in Hospitality and Tourism (also known as Graduate Conference).  It was a very successful conference, featuring 145 stand-up presentations and 186 poster presentations over a three-day period.  Yet, it was just like one of the many academic conference I have been to, I feel this is something missing.  I ask myself: 


Poster Presentation at the 20th Graduate Conference
  • Are academic researchers trapping themselves in producing "scientific" research?
  • Have our industry partners provided adequate support to academic programs in research and product development?
  • Why hotels do not use academic research in product development? (As what is suggested by this CNBC report about Marriott).
  • Where is the place for interdisciplinary research in hospitality and tourism (e.g., working with other scholars in architecture, interior design, fine arts and civil engineering)?
  • If there is a place, then what is the standard for a rigorous interdisciplinary research? 
  • Can we keep our minds open when evaluating the impact of interdisciplinary research? 

For more discussion, please visit the full article at MultiBriefs.com

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

IHMRS and BDNY 2014

-->I attended both IHMRS (International Hotel, Motel + Restaurant Show) and BDNY (Boutique Design Trade Fair) this year with 15 students, faculty, and staff from the Collins College of Hospitality Management at Cal Poly Pomona. Being a five-time attendee of IHMRS since 2009 and a professor who often shares hospitality trends and industrial updates, I paid special attention to new products and ideas that were different from those in the past. Guess what new products and ideas I found?  
 
+Cal Poly Pomona Students Attended the +IHMRS 2014 in +City of New York 

  • Fewer e-commerce sites, OTA sites, or mobile app developers attended IHMRS than before. 
  • TV mirrors are here. 
  • Green practices will stay. 
  • "Special" textiles will be used for a variety of purposes and facilities. 
  • Preserved vertical gardens help businesses keep the beauty of plants but require no maintenance.
  • +DrainWig is helpful in solving the clogging issues of drains.  
  • +Made In China --- there is a section just for Chinese manufacturers. 

-->
If you attended this year’s IHMRS and/or BDNY, please share your experience with us. If you missed this year’s event, you may check out my Facebook photo album and my detailed discussion on MultiBriefs.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Do You Want a Virtual Vacation? Marriott #GetTeleporter Will Take You

Is there anything technology can't do?  Recently, Marriott launched the #GetTeleporter campaign, taking us to a virtual vacation.  What business applications do you see from the teleporter?  Will people buy in this concept?  Tell us what you think. 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Aloft Hotels Introduce Robotic Butlers, Bringing in Better or Worse Customer Experience?

The Aloft Hotel is testing a robotic butler concept in the Cupertino, California location.  The chain has no intention to replace any service staff at this point and is planning to bring more "botlers" (robotic butlers) to other Aloft Hotel if the concept proves to be successful.

In general, I believe technology can enhance customer service, but at the same time, technology may also minimize the real human interactions among customers and staff.  So, is it a good thing when hotels use machines to serve people? Do customers have a saying on how they will be served (by a real human or by a robot)?

With those thoughts in mind, I wrote two articles on MultiBriefs.com. I believe machine serving people has become a reality, but at the same time, there will be a variety of options (brands) in the future to meet different needs from customers. Customers will be able to choose a hotel that uses machines or uses real human being for customer service.

In your opinions, to which direction will technology take us? Will technology help businesses provide better or worse customer service in the future?