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Our opinion on... “ c reating and delivering ” experiences A common myth about branding is that it is a long-term proposition. That the costs of creation and implementation of your brand will reap results not now, but somewhere down the line. Not so. Your brand can and should make an impression on your guests within minutes of their arrival, and a favorable impression can have short-term rewards. It didn’t take long for me to get a clear understanding of the Crowne Plaza brand when I stayed at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Redondo Beach. From the efficient, businesslike welcome to the efficient, desk-type layout of the room, the hotel telegraphed: efficient business hotel. Well, it did not exactly telegraph it, and they certainly did not sit back and hope that I would absorb the brand idea by osmosis: at almost every touchpoint I was informed and then reminded of the brand’s raison d’être: a comfortable yet efficient place to stay and conduct business. The brand slogan “The Place to Meet” summarized the proposition and helped me understand that the brand idea was linked to a chain and not just one hotel. It took only a few minutes to “build” the Crowne Plaza brand in my mind -- not years. And the investment in brand building was limited to not very much more than delivering memorable, relevant experiences (which every hotel should strive to do anyway). It’s just that these memorable experiences happen to be in harmony with the brand idea. If your branding doesn’t cause the guest to want to stay with you the very next time they are in your area, or to stay at another property in the brand the very next time they go anywhere, then your brand isn’t working hard enough! To put it simply, if your brand investment does not pay back immediately, it’s probably not working at all. Great brands are instantly absorbed: Four Seasons, Apple, and Shoppers Drug Mart, to name a few. Making this happen is not hard. It’s a matter of clearly defining the brand in terms of different, unique experiences that are meaningful to your guests (not to all people, just to those people you want as your guests) and then delivering this experi-


Protean Strategies is a Toronto based management consulting firm. Since 1997 we have been helping large and small companies convert brand value into higher margins and bottom line profits by understanding their stakeholders needs; building powerful strategies; and aligning business practices with marketing and sale to a common goal.

ence to them while they are visiting your property (as well as all the other properties in the system.) Of course, the delivery must be powerful, flawless and merchandized – sometimes even the smartest guests need help filling in the dots and recognizing that the experience is an experience.

and throughout the chain, is a powerful example of a brand operationalized.

The consistent, simple way Crowne Plaza do this at every touchpoint in the hotel

Call or email us today for more information on our suite of brand and business consulting services

Laurence Bernstein is the founder and managing partner of Protean Strategies/The Bay Charles Consulting Group Limited. He has been a leading

Protean Strategies 80 Cumberland Street, Suite 1503 Toronto M5R 3V1 Canada 416.967.3337

proponent of the “new order of differentiation� and has written and lectured on the subject of experiential branding and intrinsic/extrinsic research methodologies in Canada, the US , Europe and China.

In addition to a highly successful 20 year career in advertising and marketing he held senior positions client side in hotel and hospitality companies. Laurence attended the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg and Cornell University in Ithaca , New York This white-paper is based on the original paper on the subject written by Laurence Bernstein and published in the Cornell Quarterly in April, 1999.

Opinion -- Great branding returns immediate profits  

It took only a few minutes to “build” the Crowne Plaza brand in my mind -- not years. And the investment in brand building was limited to no...

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