This is part two of a three-part series on marketing differentiation.
Part 1 highlighted New York City wine retailer Taste Wine Company (User Experience Innovation Creates New Kind of Wine Store). The innovative idea propelling this new venture: shoppers can taste every bottle before buying!
Today, in Part 2, we take a look at global hotel brand Mama Shelter, and how its founders are putting a different spin on the US boutique hotel business.
Redefining Boutique Hotel Experience for an American Audience
The Mama Shelter hotel brand is an example of both marketing differentiation and a global-brand applied geographically.
To begin, the name is not what you’d expect from a hotel brand: it’s cool and attention-generating.
“The hotel’s name is meant to evoke warmth and a communal feeling, distinguishing the brand from what the owners felt was a ‘too cool’ vibe at many sleek boutique properties that attract a stylish crowd,” explains Wall Street Journal reporter Craig Karmin.
The hotel operators take a different design and decoration approach. It’s part of the Mama Shelter branding and at the same time creates buzz and engagement in the local community: black chalkboard ceilings in public areas are decorated by local artists.
Mama Shelter began in France, and has four locations there today: Bordeaux, Lyon, Marseille and Paris. Istanbul is the other European locale.
The first USA hotel opened this month in Los Angeles. Pricing seems reasonable for a boutique hotel in a major US city. A check of the Mama Shelter website showed pricing mostly in the $159 to $179 range, with a low of $149 and high of $219 per night.
Mama Shelter offers free in-room movies. Okay, maybe good for weary business travelers, but you’d think visitors would want to be out and about on the town. However, there’s a unique aspect to these free movies – the menu includes adult films. A company founder offered a unique rationale:
“Guests would watch it anyway on their computers or phones. Why not let them use a bigger screen and have a better viewing experience?” (Benjamin Trigano – Craig Karmin interview – WSJ).
And, there’s free WiFi to share Mama Shelter on social media. But maybe not all the experience.
Harvey Chimoff is a versatile marketing and business team leader who believes good marketing sells. Contact him at harveychimoff dot com.
Part 3 Tomorrow:
“Meet Me at My Place” or Create Experiences Where Your Customers Are