Monday, June 20, 2005
The war of the beds (and the chairs...and the showerheads)
Sorry for the lateness of this post. I was out traveling last week.
This is basically a follow-up to my post on Tuesday, May 03, 2005 entitled "Sensory Branding -- What's That Smell?" It was inspired by the book Brand Sense by Martin Lindstrom. In it, he makes the case for "smashing" your brand and rebuilding it to engage your audience on all five sensory levels. Where that idea is really catching on, I think, is in the hospitality industry. It seems like they're putting their money on the sense of touch (comfort).
Sheraton has introduced exclusive beds and bedclothes, and Holiday Inn Express has shower heads that not only feel good, they'll make you smarter. Now, Radisson jumps in and raises the stakes with the Sleep Number Bed. And last week I stayed at the Millennium Hotel in Minneapolis. They had their own version of premium bedding (though not as plush or distinctive as Sheraton's). Even so, they managed to raise the touch thing to the next level. Every room had a sleek birch-finished desk with a Knoll SoHo chair. I looked them up, and those chairs go for around $400 a pop.
Where do we go from here? Look for other business travel hotels to add things like an Aeron office chair, a Grohe showerhead or even a memory foam mattress. Some forward-thinking marketing executive might even resurrect the vibrating "Magic Fingers" bed. I haven't seen one of those in years.