Published on: June 8, 2017
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Hi, Kevin Coupe here and this is FaceTime with the Content Guy...coming to you this morning from the Edgewater Hotel in Seattle.
We've had several pieces here on MNB recently about the importance of not making assumptions about customers, and I was just reading yet another one in the New York Times. It was about how hotel executives are so busy trying to cater to millennials - or to what they think millennials want - that they're doing way in some formats with things on which they believe millennials do not place a premium.
Like desks they can work on, or any sort of functional work space. Or rolling chairs. Or minibars. Or room service. Or closets. Or dressers with drawers.
It is apparently getting so bad that I'm half-expecting, next time I check into some sort if edgy hotel format, that they'll have replaced the shower with a tube of dry shampoo ... and I don't even want to think about how they might replace the toilet.
The thing is, I like trying not new hotel formats, like the Moxie or the Aloft chains - it is interesting to see what major hotel companies like Marriott are doing in order to break the mold a little bit. I give them a lot of credit for trying. Plus, they end up giving me stuff to write about.
But it seems like even millennials like having a desk to work on in their rooms - not everybody wants to go downstairs to work in a common area.
I think it is important to figure out how younger generations differ in terms of priorities and desires, and to then figure out how to address them. But it also is critical not to change just for change's sake.
Me, I'm a fairly undemanding hotel guest. As long as the bed is comfortable, the shower is hot and the Wifi is fast, I'm pretty good. It always is nice when there are lots of electric plugs near the desk, and I like it best when the desk actually faces the TV ... two things that this hotel, much as I like it, falls short on. But I've spent a lot more time in Holiday Inns than I have in four-star hotels in my life, so I've learned how to adapt. (Room service and minibars mean nothing to me - I almost never use them. I like real restaurants and actual bars ... plus, I like to get out of the room when I can.)
But adapting cuts both ways ... and every business has to continually innovate without disenfranchising traditional customers. That isn't easy ... but then again, appealing to consumers is not for the faint of heart.
That's what is on my mind this morning and, as always, I want to hear what is on your mind.
- KC's View: