Last week I was in New York for a brand positioning assignment. The customer assured me casually that the hotel would be a unique experience. I was a bit skeptical, because in the past I have slept often in hotels all over the world and you basically see a lot of the same. Of course there were some exceptions such as hip design hotels, but I was always bored after a few days. There was always something that simply did not fit the image. Initially funny things suddenly became very obvious or even annoying. Or interaction with the staff was different from expected.
Then I came to the Ace Hotel in New York. The Ace is a hotel that does things differently, but in a challenging and stimulating way. For starters, the location of the hotel is in a neighborhood that does not come directly to mind for a new hotel. And that is how it started…
Upon entering I was greeted by a man in a big blue blouse with sleeves rolled up. He had a beard, unkempt hair and some tattoos. Indeed, this was the hotel manager. Super relaxed and sincere friendly. The receptionist had purple hair, sparkling eyes, a big smile and I got a greeting from the heart.
The crowded lobby featured a stuffed head of a deer, many copper items, an American flag and a DJ.
“Use your key card and start going places” was written above the key card slot in the elevator. My room is wallpapered with the sheet music of the opera Patience. Not some random sheet music, but an opera from the late 18th century that and as a satire also did things different. A perfect fit!
The hotel guide is called “The Ace Survival Guide – a manual for food, drinks and other ephemera. Then my eye falls on a set of cards held together by a thick band. I push the belt aside and read ‘Here are some art cards by artist Miho Hatori. We love them. We hope you will, too. Because they’re yours now. – Ace ‘.
Smoke outside. Meet a stranger.
Under the “no smoking” symbol in the room is written “Smoke outside. Meet a Stranger “and then in small text” Smoke inside, pay a stranger $ 250″. It can be that simple.
In the elevator I meet another guest who is so enthusiastic that he tells me he had a real DJ set and a guitar in his room. Where do guests talk in the elevator about their room? Neat!
The Ace Hotel is in my opinion THE example of a brand-worthy hotel. It is a hotel that continues to be Ace by being different and consistently executes that to the smallest detail with employees who have the brand in their DNA. 100% Ace! Doing so creates fans. And fans come more often, spend more and tell your story. This article shows exactly that!
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Quite a few readers reach out to me with brand thoughts, ideas, and challenges. As it is always a lot of fun to learn what is going on I decided to make things a bit easier. On a few Fridays in the next couple of weeks, you can book a free discovery call me with me.
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