How We Think

Introducing…The Marketing Misstep

We spend a lot of time here touting good ideas. And while we believe in positivity, there’s also value in looking at occasional “how-not-to-do-it” examples.

Welcome to our first Marketing Misstep. Consider this like a history lesson: learn from others, so you don’t make the same mistake. Enjoy, and feel free to laugh… we did!

The Misstep

Daily Special: Clean BedRecently, a team member stayed at a Hampton Inn. Plastered in the elevator were graphics boasting that duvet covers and sheets are washed fresh for every guest.



There are two reactions to expect:

1.  EWWW!!
2.  Finally, I can sit on my bed naked without worry!

Of those we polled, #1 was the most common response. What does that say about their campaign?

Cleanliness is a table stake–the bare minimum you must meet to compete. Look at airlines:  Southwest doesn’t boast safety… that’s a given. They go beyond that, promising low fares and high spirit.

By choosing to highlight fresh sheets–something people already expect–Hampton Inn loses an opportunity to stand out in the sea of hotel chains.

OMG, TBISC.On top of that, they deeply misunderstand their audience. One graphic shows a teen texting in bed: “OMG, TBISC. Oh my gosh, this bed is so clean.”

Have you ever met a teen concerned with a clean hotel bedspread? Didn’t think so. The first image speaks easily to parents who are concerned about clean sheets for their children, the second is a big stretch.

Moral of the Story

It’s not enough to brag about the basics. Your brand lives in every. single. detail. So identify your table stakes… then push past them.

One thing that saddens us to no end is missing an opportunity to help due to budget. As 2013 approaches, pinpoint areas to focus your energy. Making a plan now will be worth it. We promise. (And we can help.)