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Newsletter #821: The “Ideas from Hotels” Issue

[Welcome back to the Damn, I Wish I’d Thought of That! newsletter. This is text of the great issue all of our email subscribers just received. Sign yourself up using the handy form on the right.]

The hotel industry can be tough. It’s recession prone, competitive, and there can be high operating costs. But it’s also an industry where clever marketing can really give you an edge. How they’re doing it:

1> With the parking lot
2> With the community
3> With the menu
4> Check it out: Phras.In

1> With the parking lot

When you’re looking for the next great marketing breakthrough, you’re probably not looking at your parking lot. But at the Hampton Inn at the Miami Airport, it’s a big asset. If you stay at least one night, you get unlimited parking. That’s a nice perk for any hotel, but in a city where people need parking while they’re on a cruise, it’s huge. There are lots of budget places to stay, but this simple offer (along with friendly staff and clean beds) helps this otherwise overlooked hotel stand out.

The lesson: Opportunities to get people talking are everywhere. What about your parking lot? Your backyard? Your roof?

2> With the community

Wherever you are, your community has something unique to offer. Great hotels are teaming with local groups to create unique experiences for guests. Marriott’s SpringHill Suites in Columbia, South Carolina, for example, hosts local ArtNights where they display the work of local artists and expose guests to these local creatives. Similarly, Marriott’s Renaissance chain has launched their official music program, “RLife Live,” featuring local emerging artists.

The lesson: What’s local to you is foreign (and worth telling friends about) to everyone else.

Learn more: USA TODAY

3> With the menu

A menu can be more than a list of stuff for sale, it can be a signal to what you specialize in. At Bolton Hotel in New Zealand, they want you to host your conference there. So much so, they’ve developed a “brainfood” menu designed to keep event attendees mentally alert and sustained throughout the day. Who knows if the menu items work, but with a dedication like that, I’m guessing most event planners are willing to at least check out their meeting space.

The lesson: Your menu shouldn’t be just a list of what’s available, it should be something that highlights what you do best.

Learn more: Bolton Hotel

4> Check it out: Phras.In

If you’ve ever used the English language, odds are you’ve found yourself struggling between two phrases and couldn’t decide which one was the best fit. That’s where Phras.In comes in — enter two phrases and it’ll tell you which one is more commonly used.

Check it out: Phras.In

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