Taking a look at the current promotions from two of the world’s largest hotel chains is an interesting snapshot of the different philosophical approaches each chain brings to their hotel operations. Hilton launched their Be Hospitable campaign with a call to people around the world to just be nicer to each other. Their campaign site offer tips on how to be more hospitable to others, and a captivating content area where you can read user contributed tales of moments in their life where someone’s random act of kindness made a difference. It’s an interesting feel-good way to extend the campaign and position Hilton as the hotel chain that truly cares about hospitality and service.
Starwood (owner of hotel brands Sheraton, W, Westin, and others) recently took a different approach, launching a travel lifestyle blog targeted at Elite members of it’s Preferred Guest program titled The Lobby. The blog promises to cover the "latest and greatest" trends in worldwide travel and is produced in partnership with the smart folks over at Electric Artists.
For the philosophy it tries to promote, the Hilton campaign is a breath of fresh air. There aren’t too many more noble causes than celebrating people being nice to one another. But as a marketing promotion, I have to give the edge to Starwood in this battle. Comparing the ideas, Starwood’s connects better with high rolling Elite customers, offers a better venue to integrate details about properties and promotions, and positions the company’s chains well for a criteria that most travel industry pundits agree is becoming more and more important to consumers … style.