Quantcast

Selling nuts to squirrels

INNspiring.com | Innkeeper Forum & Innkeeping Resources

Help Support INNspiring.com | Innkeeper Forum & Innkeeping Resources:

JBloggs

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Oct 7, 2008
Messages
17,743
Reaction score
0
JB- You will love this. You will go "AH HA!" and confirm what you already knew in your heart. If someone would please pass this on to PAII and BWTS I would appreciate it. This is from Seth's Blog here
[h3]Selling nuts to squirrels [/h3]
In All Marketers Tell Stories, I argue that most organizations shouldn't try to change the worldview of the audience they're marketing to.
Worldview is a term popularized by George Lakoff. It's the set of expectations and biases that color the way each of us see the world (before the marketer ever arrives on the scene). The worldview of a 45 year old wine-loving investment banker is very different from that of a fraternity brother. One might see a $100 bottle of burgundy as both a bargain and a must-have, while the other might see the very same bottle of wine as an insane waste of money.
Worldview changes three things: attention, bias and vernacular. Attention, because we choose to pay attention to those things that we've decided matter. Bias, because our worldview alters the way we filter and interpret what we hear. And vernacular, because words and images resonate with people differently based on their worldview.
It's extremely expensive, time consuming and difficult to change someone's worldview. The guys at Opus One shouldn't spend a lot of time marketing expensive wine to fraternities because it's not efficient. Sell nuts to squirrels, don't try to persuade dolphins that nuts are delicious.
The interesting truth in both the Starbucks and Facebook example is that a different worldview was at work. The latecomers to each company were sold a very different story--the story of, "you need to be here because all your friends are." That worked because it matched the latecomers' worldview, the one that includes an imperative, "don't be left out." Different nut, same squirrel.
The interesting truth in both the Starbucks and Facebook example is that a different worldview was at work. The latecomers to each company were sold a very different story--the story of, "you need to be here because all your friends are." That worked because it matched the latecomers' worldview, the one that includes an imperative, "don't be left out." Different nut, same squirrel.
There's an exception to this rule, and that's the necessity of changing worldviews if you want to become a giant brand, a world changer, a marketer for the ages. Starbucks changed the way a significant part of the world thought about spending $4 for a cup of coffee.
Or consider Facebook. It started by selling nuts to squirrels. At first, Facebook was social crack for lonely (all college students are lonely) college students. Over time, the social pressure it created snuck up on and surrounded those with a different inclination, those that would never have signed up on their own. These folks had a worldview that privacy was valuable and that time was better spent elsewhere. But once a sufficient number of their friends and colleagues were online, they felt they had little choice. Converting those people (often against their short term wishes) is where Facebook's most recent 300 million users came from.
The interesting truth in both the Starbucks and Facebook example is that a different worldview was at work. The latecomers to each company were sold a very different story--the story of, "you need to be here because all your friends are." That worked because it matched the latecomers' worldview, the one that includes an imperative, "don't be left out." Different nut, same squirrel.
 

Alibi Ike

Well-known member
Staff member
Joined
Aug 8, 2010
Messages
2,928
Reaction score
0
Totally against my wishes I got into FB to 'be' there for people who would look there for me. I wish I knew how to be the next Starbucks! How to change the worldview (which I think is what BWTS is attempting to do) is beyond me.
 

JBloggs

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Oct 7, 2008
Messages
17,743
Reaction score
0
This article is lengthy - esp in electronic form, but it is very good. As we have always said here and to which other groups find appauling "we need to be who we are" we can't pretend to be 20 years old when we aren't and then have repercussions from angry guests. If we are granny's house we need to market as "granny's house" those who love granny's house will love it, those who don't won't go there and feel tricked.
This in a nutshell if the PROBLEM with BWTS. INHERENTLY THE PROBLEM> If 75% of the inns don't like the WTH (formerly F) campaign, how will those guests feel staying at those inns? Esp those who were extremely offended by it? It is supposed to represent THEM/THEIR INN. So there is a diametrically opposed issue there that can't be glossed over with an H.
If you are not a spa, don't pretend to be a spa. I think it is a slippery slope that too many innkeepers fall into while trying to bait the hook and get heads in beds! And obv as the article stated, worldview and the guest's impression will be wildly different from one guest to the next.
Case in point:
Guests said they thought our town was too big, they thought we were in the boondocks. Next guest thinks we are in the boondocks and there is nothing to do. Next guest finds a ton of things to do and need to stay longer to do it all. Who is right? Any of them? ALL OF THEM. It is their perception, it it viewing this area through their eyes. We can sell what we can, but we need to be upfront and truthful, we need to sell our nuts to squirrels not dolphins. :) Your squirrels may be eastern grey and mine may be flying squirrels.
 

Joey Camb

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 2, 2010
Messages
4,793
Reaction score
0
This article is lengthy - esp in electronic form, but it is very good. As we have always said here and to which other groups find appauling "we need to be who we are" we can't pretend to be 20 years old when we aren't and then have repercussions from angry guests. If we are granny's house we need to market as "granny's house" those who love granny's house will love it, those who don't won't go there and feel tricked.
This in a nutshell if the PROBLEM with BWTS. INHERENTLY THE PROBLEM> If 75% of the inns don't like the WTH (formerly F) campaign, how will those guests feel staying at those inns? Esp those who were extremely offended by it? It is supposed to represent THEM/THEIR INN. So there is a diametrically opposed issue there that can't be glossed over with an H.
If you are not a spa, don't pretend to be a spa. I think it is a slippery slope that too many innkeepers fall into while trying to bait the hook and get heads in beds! And obv as the article stated, worldview and the guest's impression will be wildly different from one guest to the next.
Case in point:
Guests said they thought our town was too big, they thought we were in the boondocks. Next guest thinks we are in the boondocks and there is nothing to do. Next guest finds a ton of things to do and need to stay longer to do it all. Who is right? Any of them? ALL OF THEM. It is their perception, it it viewing this area through their eyes. We can sell what we can, but we need to be upfront and truthful, we need to sell our nuts to squirrels not dolphins. :) Your squirrels may be eastern grey and mine may be flying squirrels.
.
I agree but sometimes people need it pointing out to them that we are the "Nuts they want" (certain degree of pun there!) For example last year here one of the big hotels had an awful fire (no one hurt) and it pushed people out of their usual places and all the ones I spoke to actually really liked it! and wouldn't go back and rebooked their B&B's for this year. It is a case of bringing the options to people's attention. People are too oblivious to options other than hotels they need to be aware that there are other options. Or at the very least they need to be aware that other nuts are out there and they might be worth a punt!
 

Penelope

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 4, 2008
Messages
1,716
Reaction score
0
This article is lengthy - esp in electronic form, but it is very good. As we have always said here and to which other groups find appauling "we need to be who we are" we can't pretend to be 20 years old when we aren't and then have repercussions from angry guests. If we are granny's house we need to market as "granny's house" those who love granny's house will love it, those who don't won't go there and feel tricked.
This in a nutshell if the PROBLEM with BWTS. INHERENTLY THE PROBLEM> If 75% of the inns don't like the WTH (formerly F) campaign, how will those guests feel staying at those inns? Esp those who were extremely offended by it? It is supposed to represent THEM/THEIR INN. So there is a diametrically opposed issue there that can't be glossed over with an H.
If you are not a spa, don't pretend to be a spa. I think it is a slippery slope that too many innkeepers fall into while trying to bait the hook and get heads in beds! And obv as the article stated, worldview and the guest's impression will be wildly different from one guest to the next.
Case in point:
Guests said they thought our town was too big, they thought we were in the boondocks. Next guest thinks we are in the boondocks and there is nothing to do. Next guest finds a ton of things to do and need to stay longer to do it all. Who is right? Any of them? ALL OF THEM. It is their perception, it it viewing this area through their eyes. We can sell what we can, but we need to be upfront and truthful, we need to sell our nuts to squirrels not dolphins. :) Your squirrels may be eastern grey and mine may be flying squirrels.
.
Joey Bloggs said:
Who is right? Any of them? ALL OF THEM. It is their perception, it it viewing this area through their eyes.
Their perception is their reality...just as our perception is our reality.
 

Generic

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 24, 2011
Messages
7,520
Reaction score
37
An interesting article. But basically another version of Everett Roger's Diffusion of Innovations. First you have to get the innovators, then the early adopters, then the early majority, the late majority and finally the laggards. The problem here is the question of... who in that group do we want.
There are four B&Bs on my street and our clients couldn't be any more diffirent. The B&B across the street and I trade customers from time to time, but my customers are decidedly younger than his. Why? Because we market differently and because we take reservations differently. His reservations are decided longer in the tooth than mine. I'm guessing that it has to do with the fact that most of my reservations are done online and I have a tall building that requires climbing stairs. There are many other ways that we are different. And that is exactly why I don't think we compete at all, we compliment each other. But that is exactly the point, every B&B is different, every B&B makes different choices that suit them and their guests. And if they don't suit their guests, the guests should book elsewhere.
So, how does the PAII market when we are all selling a different product? Maybe instead of pushing something specific, instead pushing nothing at all but the fact that we are all unique. The only cookie cutter when it comes to a B&B is the ones we may use to make cookies. I'm in the inner city, in a walking neighbourhood, in a city that loves food, loves life and needs to be savoured slowly... but I am also me! Someone who can tell you where to find some of the best poutine in town, knows the difference between Schwartz's smoked meat and Lester's smoked meat and can tell you where to find some obscure French treats that you may not be able to find elsewhere in North America. What makes us all differen isn't out location but who we are. Maybe what we need to sell is... us. 100s of different experiences, starting with who you decide to stay with. Notice... it's not where you decide to stay, it's with whom you decide to stay. It's more personal, because it's a personal experience.
 

Alibi Ike

Well-known member
Staff member
Joined
Aug 8, 2010
Messages
2,928
Reaction score
0
This article is lengthy - esp in electronic form, but it is very good. As we have always said here and to which other groups find appauling "we need to be who we are" we can't pretend to be 20 years old when we aren't and then have repercussions from angry guests. If we are granny's house we need to market as "granny's house" those who love granny's house will love it, those who don't won't go there and feel tricked.
This in a nutshell if the PROBLEM with BWTS. INHERENTLY THE PROBLEM> If 75% of the inns don't like the WTH (formerly F) campaign, how will those guests feel staying at those inns? Esp those who were extremely offended by it? It is supposed to represent THEM/THEIR INN. So there is a diametrically opposed issue there that can't be glossed over with an H.
If you are not a spa, don't pretend to be a spa. I think it is a slippery slope that too many innkeepers fall into while trying to bait the hook and get heads in beds! And obv as the article stated, worldview and the guest's impression will be wildly different from one guest to the next.
Case in point:
Guests said they thought our town was too big, they thought we were in the boondocks. Next guest thinks we are in the boondocks and there is nothing to do. Next guest finds a ton of things to do and need to stay longer to do it all. Who is right? Any of them? ALL OF THEM. It is their perception, it it viewing this area through their eyes. We can sell what we can, but we need to be upfront and truthful, we need to sell our nuts to squirrels not dolphins. :) Your squirrels may be eastern grey and mine may be flying squirrels.
.
The worldview I see BWTS attempting to change is the one wherein ALL B&B's cater to 'old people' only. That it's no place for a hip young couple. (Not necessarily changing the worldview of the B&B owner, altho that has been tossed into the mix with comments about old people getting out of the way and if you don't like it you're stuck in grannyland.)
That's not to say that now all B&B's should remake themselves to fit some 'other' mold (like everyone trying to be Starbucks when some people - quite a few, actually- cannot stand Starbucks). We have to be who we are because trying to be someone else doesn't work.
Of course anyone can work on understanding a new POV and perhaps embrace that. But to say to me that I have to strip all the wallpaper and toss the quilts and start cooking in a totally alien way isn't going to happen. However, as we have gained experience here we have adapted our recipes to a fitter, heathier crowd (worldview). And my worldview is one that does not include tchotchkes everywhere. (I replace those with books. Everywhere.)
The decorating worldview would have me replacing everything with granite. And marble floors. And steam showers with 10 different heads. So, we need to appeal to people who are looking for what we have. But, there is a B&B out there for everyone. THAT'S a marketing POV for BWTS.
Instead of BWTS harping incessantly on hipness (in the marketing and in the pep talks to us) it would really be better to harp on the varied experiences out there. 'We've got it...soup to nuts.' Or whatever the hip young crowd would say to encompass everything.
 

Alibi Ike

Well-known member
Staff member
Joined
Aug 8, 2010
Messages
2,928
Reaction score
0
An interesting article. But basically another version of Everett Roger's Diffusion of Innovations. First you have to get the innovators, then the early adopters, then the early majority, the late majority and finally the laggards. The problem here is the question of... who in that group do we want.
There are four B&Bs on my street and our clients couldn't be any more diffirent. The B&B across the street and I trade customers from time to time, but my customers are decidedly younger than his. Why? Because we market differently and because we take reservations differently. His reservations are decided longer in the tooth than mine. I'm guessing that it has to do with the fact that most of my reservations are done online and I have a tall building that requires climbing stairs. There are many other ways that we are different. And that is exactly why I don't think we compete at all, we compliment each other. But that is exactly the point, every B&B is different, every B&B makes different choices that suit them and their guests. And if they don't suit their guests, the guests should book elsewhere.
So, how does the PAII market when we are all selling a different product? Maybe instead of pushing something specific, instead pushing nothing at all but the fact that we are all unique. The only cookie cutter when it comes to a B&B is the ones we may use to make cookies. I'm in the inner city, in a walking neighbourhood, in a city that loves food, loves life and needs to be savoured slowly... but I am also me! Someone who can tell you where to find some of the best poutine in town, knows the difference between Schwartz's smoked meat and Lester's smoked meat and can tell you where to find some obscure French treats that you may not be able to find elsewhere in North America. What makes us all differen isn't out location but who we are. Maybe what we need to sell is... us. 100s of different experiences, starting with who you decide to stay with. Notice... it's not where you decide to stay, it's with whom you decide to stay. It's more personal, because it's a personal experience..
I just read this after I went and said something very similar...yes, BWTS needs to focus on the experience and the variety rather than pushing an agenda.
(Hey, those long in the teeth people stay here, too! When I first read that in Chaucer a million years ago I had no idea what it actually meant. And now I do.)
 

Joey Camb

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 2, 2010
Messages
4,793
Reaction score
0
This article is lengthy - esp in electronic form, but it is very good. As we have always said here and to which other groups find appauling "we need to be who we are" we can't pretend to be 20 years old when we aren't and then have repercussions from angry guests. If we are granny's house we need to market as "granny's house" those who love granny's house will love it, those who don't won't go there and feel tricked.
This in a nutshell if the PROBLEM with BWTS. INHERENTLY THE PROBLEM> If 75% of the inns don't like the WTH (formerly F) campaign, how will those guests feel staying at those inns? Esp those who were extremely offended by it? It is supposed to represent THEM/THEIR INN. So there is a diametrically opposed issue there that can't be glossed over with an H.
If you are not a spa, don't pretend to be a spa. I think it is a slippery slope that too many innkeepers fall into while trying to bait the hook and get heads in beds! And obv as the article stated, worldview and the guest's impression will be wildly different from one guest to the next.
Case in point:
Guests said they thought our town was too big, they thought we were in the boondocks. Next guest thinks we are in the boondocks and there is nothing to do. Next guest finds a ton of things to do and need to stay longer to do it all. Who is right? Any of them? ALL OF THEM. It is their perception, it it viewing this area through their eyes. We can sell what we can, but we need to be upfront and truthful, we need to sell our nuts to squirrels not dolphins. :) Your squirrels may be eastern grey and mine may be flying squirrels.
.
The worldview I see BWTS attempting to change is the one wherein ALL B&B's cater to 'old people' only. That it's no place for a hip young couple. (Not necessarily changing the worldview of the B&B owner, altho that has been tossed into the mix with comments about old people getting out of the way and if you don't like it you're stuck in grannyland.)
That's not to say that now all B&B's should remake themselves to fit some 'other' mold (like everyone trying to be Starbucks when some people - quite a few, actually- cannot stand Starbucks). We have to be who we are because trying to be someone else doesn't work.
Of course anyone can work on understanding a new POV and perhaps embrace that. But to say to me that I have to strip all the wallpaper and toss the quilts and start cooking in a totally alien way isn't going to happen. However, as we have gained experience here we have adapted our recipes to a fitter, heathier crowd (worldview). And my worldview is one that does not include tchotchkes everywhere. (I replace those with books. Everywhere.)
The decorating worldview would have me replacing everything with granite. And marble floors. And steam showers with 10 different heads. So, we need to appeal to people who are looking for what we have. But, there is a B&B out there for everyone. THAT'S a marketing POV for BWTS.
Instead of BWTS harping incessantly on hipness (in the marketing and in the pep talks to us) it would really be better to harp on the varied experiences out there. 'We've got it...soup to nuts.' Or whatever the hip young crowd would say to encompass everything.
.
Our biggest challenge here is somewhat being helped and somewhat being hindered by programs such as the hotel inspector and three in a bed. 3 in a bed helps in some ways as they show that B&Bs can be luxurious and arn't grannys house but they don't always show the owners in a good light. However all of the 3 in a bed show the places as clean and realively luxurious. It makes me cross when I read reviews such as this one. - This is of one of my neighbours
Didn't know what to expect of this guesthouse although it was highly rated. Didn't want to end up staying in someones spare room! But it has 13 rooms/suits in total and it is a lovely huge house just outside of Harrogate centre (10min walk). Owners were super friendly - very helpful with local knowledge. Accommodation was comfortable. Loved the honesty bar!! Breakfast was nice but perhaps a bit oily and I'm not sure if everything was made from scratch. All in all a good place to stay.
They are a big place and on their web site they have an exellent virtual tour of virtually the whole place, tons of online reviews - this complete idiocy is what we are fighting against! they do expensive toiletries, large lounge car park holiday cottages - I would be insulted Stay in someones spare room!!!!
 

Joey Camb

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 2, 2010
Messages
4,793
Reaction score
0
An interesting article. But basically another version of Everett Roger's Diffusion of Innovations. First you have to get the innovators, then the early adopters, then the early majority, the late majority and finally the laggards. The problem here is the question of... who in that group do we want.
There are four B&Bs on my street and our clients couldn't be any more diffirent. The B&B across the street and I trade customers from time to time, but my customers are decidedly younger than his. Why? Because we market differently and because we take reservations differently. His reservations are decided longer in the tooth than mine. I'm guessing that it has to do with the fact that most of my reservations are done online and I have a tall building that requires climbing stairs. There are many other ways that we are different. And that is exactly why I don't think we compete at all, we compliment each other. But that is exactly the point, every B&B is different, every B&B makes different choices that suit them and their guests. And if they don't suit their guests, the guests should book elsewhere.
So, how does the PAII market when we are all selling a different product? Maybe instead of pushing something specific, instead pushing nothing at all but the fact that we are all unique. The only cookie cutter when it comes to a B&B is the ones we may use to make cookies. I'm in the inner city, in a walking neighbourhood, in a city that loves food, loves life and needs to be savoured slowly... but I am also me! Someone who can tell you where to find some of the best poutine in town, knows the difference between Schwartz's smoked meat and Lester's smoked meat and can tell you where to find some obscure French treats that you may not be able to find elsewhere in North America. What makes us all differen isn't out location but who we are. Maybe what we need to sell is... us. 100s of different experiences, starting with who you decide to stay with. Notice... it's not where you decide to stay, it's with whom you decide to stay. It's more personal, because it's a personal experience..
I just read this after I went and said something very similar...yes, BWTS needs to focus on the experience and the variety rather than pushing an agenda.
(Hey, those long in the teeth people stay here, too! When I first read that in Chaucer a million years ago I had no idea what it actually meant. And now I do.)
.
My constant shout is "Hotels are not the only form of accommodation!" there are a variety of options its a case of finding the one that works for you.
 

Alibi Ike

Well-known member
Staff member
Joined
Aug 8, 2010
Messages
2,928
Reaction score
0
This article is lengthy - esp in electronic form, but it is very good. As we have always said here and to which other groups find appauling "we need to be who we are" we can't pretend to be 20 years old when we aren't and then have repercussions from angry guests. If we are granny's house we need to market as "granny's house" those who love granny's house will love it, those who don't won't go there and feel tricked.
This in a nutshell if the PROBLEM with BWTS. INHERENTLY THE PROBLEM> If 75% of the inns don't like the WTH (formerly F) campaign, how will those guests feel staying at those inns? Esp those who were extremely offended by it? It is supposed to represent THEM/THEIR INN. So there is a diametrically opposed issue there that can't be glossed over with an H.
If you are not a spa, don't pretend to be a spa. I think it is a slippery slope that too many innkeepers fall into while trying to bait the hook and get heads in beds! And obv as the article stated, worldview and the guest's impression will be wildly different from one guest to the next.
Case in point:
Guests said they thought our town was too big, they thought we were in the boondocks. Next guest thinks we are in the boondocks and there is nothing to do. Next guest finds a ton of things to do and need to stay longer to do it all. Who is right? Any of them? ALL OF THEM. It is their perception, it it viewing this area through their eyes. We can sell what we can, but we need to be upfront and truthful, we need to sell our nuts to squirrels not dolphins. :) Your squirrels may be eastern grey and mine may be flying squirrels.
.
The worldview I see BWTS attempting to change is the one wherein ALL B&B's cater to 'old people' only. That it's no place for a hip young couple. (Not necessarily changing the worldview of the B&B owner, altho that has been tossed into the mix with comments about old people getting out of the way and if you don't like it you're stuck in grannyland.)
That's not to say that now all B&B's should remake themselves to fit some 'other' mold (like everyone trying to be Starbucks when some people - quite a few, actually- cannot stand Starbucks). We have to be who we are because trying to be someone else doesn't work.
Of course anyone can work on understanding a new POV and perhaps embrace that. But to say to me that I have to strip all the wallpaper and toss the quilts and start cooking in a totally alien way isn't going to happen. However, as we have gained experience here we have adapted our recipes to a fitter, heathier crowd (worldview). And my worldview is one that does not include tchotchkes everywhere. (I replace those with books. Everywhere.)
The decorating worldview would have me replacing everything with granite. And marble floors. And steam showers with 10 different heads. So, we need to appeal to people who are looking for what we have. But, there is a B&B out there for everyone. THAT'S a marketing POV for BWTS.
Instead of BWTS harping incessantly on hipness (in the marketing and in the pep talks to us) it would really be better to harp on the varied experiences out there. 'We've got it...soup to nuts.' Or whatever the hip young crowd would say to encompass everything.
.
Our biggest challenge here is somewhat being helped and somewhat being hindered by programs such as the hotel inspector and three in a bed. 3 in a bed helps in some ways as they show that B&Bs can be luxurious and arn't grannys house but they don't always show the owners in a good light. However all of the 3 in a bed show the places as clean and realively luxurious. It makes me cross when I read reviews such as this one. - This is of one of my neighbours
Didn't know what to expect of this guesthouse although it was highly rated. Didn't want to end up staying in someones spare room! But it has 13 rooms/suits in total and it is a lovely huge house just outside of Harrogate centre (10min walk). Owners were super friendly - very helpful with local knowledge. Accommodation was comfortable. Loved the honesty bar!! Breakfast was nice but perhaps a bit oily and I'm not sure if everything was made from scratch. All in all a good place to stay.
They are a big place and on their web site they have an exellent virtual tour of virtually the whole place, tons of online reviews - this complete idiocy is what we are fighting against! they do expensive toiletries, large lounge car park holiday cottages - I would be insulted Stay in someones spare room!!!!
.
Do they advertise everything made from scratch? If not, I'd be peeved by that comment. I don't raise and slaughter the hogs for the bacon or grow my own wheat for flour or have chickens outside, what are these people expecting?
And why the heck did they book (and where did they find the booking info) if they didn't know it was a 13 room B&B and not someone's spare room?
Daft.
 

JBloggs

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Oct 7, 2008
Messages
17,743
Reaction score
0
Eric said: "Notice... it's not where you decide to stay, it's with whom you decide to stay. It's more personal, because it's a personal experience."
Eric I don't get this as there is not much of anything personal on your website, so unless they walk in or are a repeat guest how would they decide this? If there are photos of the hosts on your website I have not been able to find them. I don't see a ton of personal stuff there, no blog with personal comments and stories, very few photos. I am not criticizing just asking. Maybe I missed it?
Another article was talking about selling QUIRKY, and I agree if you are, then market it, if ya ain't then don't. In ref to Alibi Ike's comment - which is common on this forum and worldwide, I frequented B&B from when I was young, and I never even considered them to be OLD PEOPLE lodging, not until I was told that here/media. Maybe I only stayed in younger places, but that was pre internet, so who knows...
 

JBloggs

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Oct 7, 2008
Messages
17,743
Reaction score
0
This article is lengthy - esp in electronic form, but it is very good. As we have always said here and to which other groups find appauling "we need to be who we are" we can't pretend to be 20 years old when we aren't and then have repercussions from angry guests. If we are granny's house we need to market as "granny's house" those who love granny's house will love it, those who don't won't go there and feel tricked.
This in a nutshell if the PROBLEM with BWTS. INHERENTLY THE PROBLEM> If 75% of the inns don't like the WTH (formerly F) campaign, how will those guests feel staying at those inns? Esp those who were extremely offended by it? It is supposed to represent THEM/THEIR INN. So there is a diametrically opposed issue there that can't be glossed over with an H.
If you are not a spa, don't pretend to be a spa. I think it is a slippery slope that too many innkeepers fall into while trying to bait the hook and get heads in beds! And obv as the article stated, worldview and the guest's impression will be wildly different from one guest to the next.
Case in point:
Guests said they thought our town was too big, they thought we were in the boondocks. Next guest thinks we are in the boondocks and there is nothing to do. Next guest finds a ton of things to do and need to stay longer to do it all. Who is right? Any of them? ALL OF THEM. It is their perception, it it viewing this area through their eyes. We can sell what we can, but we need to be upfront and truthful, we need to sell our nuts to squirrels not dolphins. :) Your squirrels may be eastern grey and mine may be flying squirrels.
.
The worldview I see BWTS attempting to change is the one wherein ALL B&B's cater to 'old people' only. That it's no place for a hip young couple. (Not necessarily changing the worldview of the B&B owner, altho that has been tossed into the mix with comments about old people getting out of the way and if you don't like it you're stuck in grannyland.)
That's not to say that now all B&B's should remake themselves to fit some 'other' mold (like everyone trying to be Starbucks when some people - quite a few, actually- cannot stand Starbucks). We have to be who we are because trying to be someone else doesn't work.
Of course anyone can work on understanding a new POV and perhaps embrace that. But to say to me that I have to strip all the wallpaper and toss the quilts and start cooking in a totally alien way isn't going to happen. However, as we have gained experience here we have adapted our recipes to a fitter, heathier crowd (worldview). And my worldview is one that does not include tchotchkes everywhere. (I replace those with books. Everywhere.)
The decorating worldview would have me replacing everything with granite. And marble floors. And steam showers with 10 different heads. So, we need to appeal to people who are looking for what we have. But, there is a B&B out there for everyone. THAT'S a marketing POV for BWTS.
Instead of BWTS harping incessantly on hipness (in the marketing and in the pep talks to us) it would really be better to harp on the varied experiences out there. 'We've got it...soup to nuts.' Or whatever the hip young crowd would say to encompass everything.
.
Our biggest challenge here is somewhat being helped and somewhat being hindered by programs such as the hotel inspector and three in a bed. 3 in a bed helps in some ways as they show that B&Bs can be luxurious and arn't grannys house but they don't always show the owners in a good light. However all of the 3 in a bed show the places as clean and realively luxurious. It makes me cross when I read reviews such as this one. - This is of one of my neighbours
Didn't know what to expect of this guesthouse although it was highly rated. Didn't want to end up staying in someones spare room! But it has 13 rooms/suits in total and it is a lovely huge house just outside of Harrogate centre (10min walk). Owners were super friendly - very helpful with local knowledge. Accommodation was comfortable. Loved the honesty bar!! Breakfast was nice but perhaps a bit oily and I'm not sure if everything was made from scratch. All in all a good place to stay.
They are a big place and on their web site they have an exellent virtual tour of virtually the whole place, tons of online reviews - this complete idiocy is what we are fighting against! they do expensive toiletries, large lounge car park holiday cottages - I would be insulted Stay in someones spare room!!!!
.
Do they advertise everything made from scratch? If not, I'd be peeved by that comment. I don't raise and slaughter the hogs for the bacon or grow my own wheat for flour or have chickens outside, what are these people expecting?
And why the heck did they book (and where did they find the booking info) if they didn't know it was a 13 room B&B and not someone's spare room?
Daft.
.
Alibi Ike said:
Do they advertise everything made from scratch? If not, I'd be peeved by that comment. I don't raise and slaughter the hogs for the bacon or grow my own wheat for flour or have chickens outside, what are these people expecting?
And why the heck did they book (and where did they find the booking info) if they didn't know it was a 13 room B&B and not someone's spare room?
Daft.
I thought about slaughtering a hog this week, but the hogs all ran wild and I couldn't catch them.
 

Alibi Ike

Well-known member
Staff member
Joined
Aug 8, 2010
Messages
2,928
Reaction score
0
Eric said: "Notice... it's not where you decide to stay, it's with whom you decide to stay. It's more personal, because it's a personal experience."
Eric I don't get this as there is not much of anything personal on your website, so unless they walk in or are a repeat guest how would they decide this? If there are photos of the hosts on your website I have not been able to find them. I don't see a ton of personal stuff there, no blog with personal comments and stories, very few photos. I am not criticizing just asking. Maybe I missed it?
Another article was talking about selling QUIRKY, and I agree if you are, then market it, if ya ain't then don't. In ref to Alibi Ike's comment - which is common on this forum and worldwide, I frequented B&B from when I was young, and I never even considered them to be OLD PEOPLE lodging, not until I was told that here/media. Maybe I only stayed in younger places, but that was pre internet, so who knows....
Good heavens then maybe it's my website that is attracting the geezers! I would bet the average guest age here is 55+. (I know, I just called myself a geezer.)
Our guests who just left on their way to their daughter's graduation were in their late 60's. With the exception of the actual graduates and siblings, the ave age this past weekend was definitely 50+.
Well, I did design a website that made me happy so I guess that's my target market...me. And my age group. And yet, some of the guests who like us best are our kids' ages.
 

Alibi Ike

Well-known member
Staff member
Joined
Aug 8, 2010
Messages
2,928
Reaction score
0
An interesting article. But basically another version of Everett Roger's Diffusion of Innovations. First you have to get the innovators, then the early adopters, then the early majority, the late majority and finally the laggards. The problem here is the question of... who in that group do we want.
There are four B&Bs on my street and our clients couldn't be any more diffirent. The B&B across the street and I trade customers from time to time, but my customers are decidedly younger than his. Why? Because we market differently and because we take reservations differently. His reservations are decided longer in the tooth than mine. I'm guessing that it has to do with the fact that most of my reservations are done online and I have a tall building that requires climbing stairs. There are many other ways that we are different. And that is exactly why I don't think we compete at all, we compliment each other. But that is exactly the point, every B&B is different, every B&B makes different choices that suit them and their guests. And if they don't suit their guests, the guests should book elsewhere.
So, how does the PAII market when we are all selling a different product? Maybe instead of pushing something specific, instead pushing nothing at all but the fact that we are all unique. The only cookie cutter when it comes to a B&B is the ones we may use to make cookies. I'm in the inner city, in a walking neighbourhood, in a city that loves food, loves life and needs to be savoured slowly... but I am also me! Someone who can tell you where to find some of the best poutine in town, knows the difference between Schwartz's smoked meat and Lester's smoked meat and can tell you where to find some obscure French treats that you may not be able to find elsewhere in North America. What makes us all differen isn't out location but who we are. Maybe what we need to sell is... us. 100s of different experiences, starting with who you decide to stay with. Notice... it's not where you decide to stay, it's with whom you decide to stay. It's more personal, because it's a personal experience..
Eric Arthur Blair said:
Maybe what we need to sell is... us. 100s of different experiences, starting with who you decide to stay with. Notice... it's not where you decide to stay, it's with whom you decide to stay. It's more personal, because it's a personal experience.
We're definitely selling us. Which I hate because I'm not good at the popularity contest thing. A fair number of our summer guests stay with us not for us but because all the hotels are sold out. (They do go on at length about this, which is how I know I wasn't the first or even the fourth choice.) They get a list of places to call and they take whoever answers the phone. They're mostly not B&B people. We've converted a few when they see what they get for half the price but many don't even acknowledge the personal service.
They are in late and out early and some we never even meet.
 

Generic

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 24, 2011
Messages
7,520
Reaction score
37
Eric said: "Notice... it's not where you decide to stay, it's with whom you decide to stay. It's more personal, because it's a personal experience."
Eric I don't get this as there is not much of anything personal on your website, so unless they walk in or are a repeat guest how would they decide this? If there are photos of the hosts on your website I have not been able to find them. I don't see a ton of personal stuff there, no blog with personal comments and stories, very few photos. I am not criticizing just asking. Maybe I missed it?
Another article was talking about selling QUIRKY, and I agree if you are, then market it, if ya ain't then don't. In ref to Alibi Ike's comment - which is common on this forum and worldwide, I frequented B&B from when I was young, and I never even considered them to be OLD PEOPLE lodging, not until I was told that here/media. Maybe I only stayed in younger places, but that was pre internet, so who knows....
There is a section where we talk about yourselves, but no, no personal pictures and no blog. To be honest, I don't think person photos are appropriate, maybe that's just me. And maybe I'm self conscious after the TV show with so many people who don't know me at all making criticisms.
My intent was that B&Bs aren't anonymous as a hotel is. The host of a B&B is someone that lives in the area, knows the area and can help. Versus a hotel employee who might not live in the neighbourhood, or frankly really care about the guest.
 

Generic

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 24, 2011
Messages
7,520
Reaction score
37
An interesting article. But basically another version of Everett Roger's Diffusion of Innovations. First you have to get the innovators, then the early adopters, then the early majority, the late majority and finally the laggards. The problem here is the question of... who in that group do we want.
There are four B&Bs on my street and our clients couldn't be any more diffirent. The B&B across the street and I trade customers from time to time, but my customers are decidedly younger than his. Why? Because we market differently and because we take reservations differently. His reservations are decided longer in the tooth than mine. I'm guessing that it has to do with the fact that most of my reservations are done online and I have a tall building that requires climbing stairs. There are many other ways that we are different. And that is exactly why I don't think we compete at all, we compliment each other. But that is exactly the point, every B&B is different, every B&B makes different choices that suit them and their guests. And if they don't suit their guests, the guests should book elsewhere.
So, how does the PAII market when we are all selling a different product? Maybe instead of pushing something specific, instead pushing nothing at all but the fact that we are all unique. The only cookie cutter when it comes to a B&B is the ones we may use to make cookies. I'm in the inner city, in a walking neighbourhood, in a city that loves food, loves life and needs to be savoured slowly... but I am also me! Someone who can tell you where to find some of the best poutine in town, knows the difference between Schwartz's smoked meat and Lester's smoked meat and can tell you where to find some obscure French treats that you may not be able to find elsewhere in North America. What makes us all differen isn't out location but who we are. Maybe what we need to sell is... us. 100s of different experiences, starting with who you decide to stay with. Notice... it's not where you decide to stay, it's with whom you decide to stay. It's more personal, because it's a personal experience..
Eric Arthur Blair said:
Maybe what we need to sell is... us. 100s of different experiences, starting with who you decide to stay with. Notice... it's not where you decide to stay, it's with whom you decide to stay. It's more personal, because it's a personal experience.
We're definitely selling us. Which I hate because I'm not good at the popularity contest thing. A fair number of our summer guests stay with us not for us but because all the hotels are sold out. (They do go on at length about this, which is how I know I wasn't the first or even the fourth choice.) They get a list of places to call and they take whoever answers the phone. They're mostly not B&B people. We've converted a few when they see what they get for half the price but many don't even acknowledge the personal service.
They are in late and out early and some we never even meet.
.
In our first year at the new location we didn't set a minimum stay, other than weekends. As we grew popular it was clear to us that we needed to set a minimum or go crazy. We saw a phenomenon where some people decided that they wanted to stay just one night so that they could try the breakfast and hospitality that so many others were raving about. But it was costings dearly in the amount of work it created. So we increased the cost of staying only one night and we set two night minimums. Now, all summer long we have a two night minimum (sometimes three) and we only sell single nights when they are orphans.
With the longer stays we get to know the guest, it's much more personal. I've heard more than one person who was here on an orphan night sign when they are leaving that they didn't feel like they got the whole experience because they were here simply for a night.
 

JBloggs

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Oct 7, 2008
Messages
17,743
Reaction score
0
Eric said: "Notice... it's not where you decide to stay, it's with whom you decide to stay. It's more personal, because it's a personal experience."
Eric I don't get this as there is not much of anything personal on your website, so unless they walk in or are a repeat guest how would they decide this? If there are photos of the hosts on your website I have not been able to find them. I don't see a ton of personal stuff there, no blog with personal comments and stories, very few photos. I am not criticizing just asking. Maybe I missed it?
Another article was talking about selling QUIRKY, and I agree if you are, then market it, if ya ain't then don't. In ref to Alibi Ike's comment - which is common on this forum and worldwide, I frequented B&B from when I was young, and I never even considered them to be OLD PEOPLE lodging, not until I was told that here/media. Maybe I only stayed in younger places, but that was pre internet, so who knows....
There is a section where we talk about yourselves, but no, no personal pictures and no blog. To be honest, I don't think person photos are appropriate, maybe that's just me. And maybe I'm self conscious after the TV show with so many people who don't know me at all making criticisms.
My intent was that B&Bs aren't anonymous as a hotel is. The host of a B&B is someone that lives in the area, knows the area and can help. Versus a hotel employee who might not live in the neighbourhood, or frankly really care about the guest.
.
Eric Arthur Blair said:
There is a section where we talk about yourselves, but no, no personal pictures and no blog. To be honest, I don't think person photos are appropriate, maybe that's just me. And maybe I'm self conscious after the TV show with so many people who don't know me at all making criticisms.
My intent was that B&Bs aren't anonymous as a hotel is. The host of a B&B is someone that lives in the area, knows the area and can help. Versus a hotel employee who might not live in the neighbourhood, or frankly really care about the guest.
What about common rooms and photos of the inn? Showing your personality in style at the inn? I know there is a link to a tv show, I am not going to watch a show to see the innkeepers. Just asking, I know you are in location location and higher occupancy that we have here.
 

Generic

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 24, 2011
Messages
7,520
Reaction score
37
Eric said: "Notice... it's not where you decide to stay, it's with whom you decide to stay. It's more personal, because it's a personal experience."
Eric I don't get this as there is not much of anything personal on your website, so unless they walk in or are a repeat guest how would they decide this? If there are photos of the hosts on your website I have not been able to find them. I don't see a ton of personal stuff there, no blog with personal comments and stories, very few photos. I am not criticizing just asking. Maybe I missed it?
Another article was talking about selling QUIRKY, and I agree if you are, then market it, if ya ain't then don't. In ref to Alibi Ike's comment - which is common on this forum and worldwide, I frequented B&B from when I was young, and I never even considered them to be OLD PEOPLE lodging, not until I was told that here/media. Maybe I only stayed in younger places, but that was pre internet, so who knows....
Good heavens then maybe it's my website that is attracting the geezers! I would bet the average guest age here is 55+. (I know, I just called myself a geezer.)
Our guests who just left on their way to their daughter's graduation were in their late 60's. With the exception of the actual graduates and siblings, the ave age this past weekend was definitely 50+.
Well, I did design a website that made me happy so I guess that's my target market...me. And my age group. And yet, some of the guests who like us best are our kids' ages.
.
It could also be HOW you are booking that is attracting that particular age group. There are many combination of things. Most of our reservations are done online, live. That appeals to a different crowd than those who pick up the telephone and call. Heck, the wording that you use can appeal to different groups. I know of B&Bs that only take phone reservations so that they can interview perspective guests to decide if they will rent to them or not.
Interestingly enough... my worst days for online reservations.... Friday and Saturday. And Sunday is usually my best. And 85% of my reservations are made on the first time that someone visits the website.
 

Alibi Ike

Well-known member
Staff member
Joined
Aug 8, 2010
Messages
2,928
Reaction score
0
Eric said: "Notice... it's not where you decide to stay, it's with whom you decide to stay. It's more personal, because it's a personal experience."
Eric I don't get this as there is not much of anything personal on your website, so unless they walk in or are a repeat guest how would they decide this? If there are photos of the hosts on your website I have not been able to find them. I don't see a ton of personal stuff there, no blog with personal comments and stories, very few photos. I am not criticizing just asking. Maybe I missed it?
Another article was talking about selling QUIRKY, and I agree if you are, then market it, if ya ain't then don't. In ref to Alibi Ike's comment - which is common on this forum and worldwide, I frequented B&B from when I was young, and I never even considered them to be OLD PEOPLE lodging, not until I was told that here/media. Maybe I only stayed in younger places, but that was pre internet, so who knows....
Good heavens then maybe it's my website that is attracting the geezers! I would bet the average guest age here is 55+. (I know, I just called myself a geezer.)
Our guests who just left on their way to their daughter's graduation were in their late 60's. With the exception of the actual graduates and siblings, the ave age this past weekend was definitely 50+.
Well, I did design a website that made me happy so I guess that's my target market...me. And my age group. And yet, some of the guests who like us best are our kids' ages.
.
It could also be HOW you are booking that is attracting that particular age group. There are many combination of things. Most of our reservations are done online, live. That appeals to a different crowd than those who pick up the telephone and call. Heck, the wording that you use can appeal to different groups. I know of B&Bs that only take phone reservations so that they can interview perspective guests to decide if they will rent to them or not.
Interestingly enough... my worst days for online reservations.... Friday and Saturday. And Sunday is usually my best. And 85% of my reservations are made on the first time that someone visits the website.
.
We are still over 50% of guests calling to reserve. Maybe if I got rid of the phone number they would just reserve online. ;) The majority of them have looked at the website, have selected a room and may actually be looking at the calendar when they call. I will ask if they have selected a room or would they like me to go over what is available.
9 out of 10 say they know what room they want they just don't want to put their info into the computer. And most of them apologize.
A fair number of the repeats call because they know it's faster for me to do it than for them. And they get to chat in the meantime and catch up.
Something I keep meaning to do and forget is to ask the callers who know nothing where they found the phone number.
 
Top