Wednesday, October 22, 2014

At the Root of a Rant

I absolutely love this rant by Steve McKee on the cookie-cutter experience of hotel convention spaces.  
The rickety, two-foot-by-six-foot tables that leave no space to set up a notepad and coffee cup (to say nothing of a laptop, which is fitting because the one power strip is on the floor across the room and already filled up by the guy in the short-sleeve dress shirt who showed up early).
The chairs set so neatly next to one another, which looked nice and uniform in an empty room but put you knee-to-knee with the stranger (or worse—colleague) sitting next to you.
The shallow cups, lukewarm coffee, hot water that isn’t hot and limited tea selection.
The cloth napkins that have zero absorbency and branded pens that don’t write.
And later in the day, the elfin glasses, watery ice and room-temperature cans of soda that are all products of either the Pepsi-Cola Company or the Coca-Cola Company (corporate contract, you know).
All topped by the snack—fist-sized oatmeal, chocolate chip and peanut butter cookies that are irresistible at 3:00 and put you into a coma by 3:15. Good thing the room is freezing or you’d be asleep on the table (or your neighbor’s lap, which is conveniently close by). It would make for an embarrassing Instagram post if only the wifi worked.
Everyone's attended that meeting.  But the purpose isn't of this isn't to simply vent about lazy hotels.  Dissatisfaction (or downright contempt) of something is the perfect starting point for improving upon it.  As McKee puts it, "the way it has always been done is not the way it must always be done."  The best marketers will recognize this and, most importantly, do something about it.

As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts on this topic and any other interesting marketing-related musings.

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