In a federal penitentiary you get up early, eat a minimal amount of food, work hard all day at menial tasks, get paid very little and can never leave the property. Sound a lot like your hotel these days? If so, it is time to restructure your debt.
Nearly 20% of the 46,000 hotels in this country are in default of their mortgage covenants. A deep recession and overbuilding of hotel rooms have resulted in a drop of both occupancy and average daily rate.
Mortgage rates have remained constant and many hotel owners find themselves cutting operation costs to the bone, yet are still unable to make the monthly mortgage payment. Even working for free with little staff doesn't assure the bank can be paid.
The recession may have eased, but most economists think it will be a long time before the...
In my career, I have attended probably several hundred professional conferences and meetings. Some of these were local or state hospitality associations, many were brand related and others were for specialized development for my team or myself. I have spoken at a good number of conferences and listened to probably hundreds of speakers and seminar leaders. Many of these have been very good, but just as many or more have missed their mark and were disappointing.
As I look at which programs and conferences to attend, I have found it helpful to look for events that provide a forum for effective networking among peers. Trade shows can offer outstanding value, but I try to avoid the keynotes or seminars where someone is very obviously trying to "sell" something rather than to teach...
It turns out not all TV programs are right for all brands – no matter how super they are in attracting an audience. Not even if it turns out to be the Super Bowl itself. Findings from the Brand Keys 12th annual Super Bowl Engagement Survey shows that when it comes to winning, only half of this year's Super Bowl XLVIII's advertisers will score big based on their big investments.
According to Super Bowl advertiser playbooks, brands are all wishing for ads that score big: big audiences, big creative, big buzz, and big emotional engagement. Well, all advertisers can count on at least two of those wishes to come true, because the Super Bowl has long been a showcase of big creative and it always attracts big audiences. Usually around 160 million viewers. More, depending on the teams that...
For nearly 100 years Sears & Roebuck, the dynamic duo of marketing, was America’s greatest retailer and consumers loved them. Even sang love songs about them. Hard to believe today? Well here’s a bit from a 1949 song by Ray Gilbert, William Okie, and Al Gannay. The first verse of the love song went like this:
Dear Mister Sears and Roebuck:
I been sittin’ here a-thumbin’ through your book.
Page a hundred ninety-nine
Shows a stove that’s mighty fine
And a feller in an apron like a cook.
Dear Mister Sears and Roebuck:
That electric stove’s away above my class.
It’s a beauty, yes indeed,
But the thing I really need
Is that man to teach me how to cook with gas.
It ended as follows:
Don’t mean to...
As franchisees everywhere applaud the hard fought, long term and just outcome of this case, it is important that certain lessons be learned that might help prevent similar unnecessary disputes reach the stage that this case did. In my comments posted on October 22 in BlueMauMau, Avis Lawsuit Represents What's Bad in Franchising, I expressed my strong opinion that this long and very costly lawsuit never should have happened in the first place. Robert Halcro, first the victim and then the victor, upon hearing that the case was finally over and that his $19.2 million award was his, expressed his feelings that in the reality of franchising there are lessons to be learned.
Halcro commented, "The typical small operator (franchisee) probably could not fight a case like this one...
Over the past few months, the discussion regarding minimum wage increases has quickly come to the forefront. Due to the current political climate, many who have been following the news knew the argument would soon be on the agenda for multiple jurisdictions. The battles regarding these increases are common place and the impact could have a significant, if not catastrophic, effect on the same individuals that often seek higher minimum wage levels.
Let me explain this concept. Whether you frequent a small business, purchase groceries from the local supermarket, or buy breakfast from McDonalds, you will need to interact with someone who is a minimum wage employee. Unlike what seemingly is the growing standard for government, businesses must not spend more than they earn, which in layman'...
“Brand engagement” is how well a brand meets expectations that consumers hold for what drives their behavior in the category where the brand competes. More specifically, the drivers of engagement are the rational and emotional attributes, benefits, and values that come together and define how consumers will view the category, compare offerings, and ultimately, how they will behave. The drivers are what create engagement and consumers have different expectations for different category drivers.
As we come to the end of the year, we thought we’d take a look and see which brands did the best job of engaging consumers and meeting their expectations this year. Why measure engagement? Well, if you can engage consumers, they’ll “see” your brand as better...
The restaurant business is dynamic and ever changeable. You can never tell what consumers will do.
But the depth of the recent Might Wings product problem at McDonald's is surprising. That chain invented chain restaurant systems and processes in the 1950s and 1960s. With McDonald's sheer number of test market routines, consumer research, marketing councils, highly paid ad agencies, new product development staff, daily product mix polling, supply chain staff, sophisticated contracting tools and contract bargaining ability that just about every vendor would want to be part of, ten million pounds or 20 percent of Mighty Wings product overstock is way too much.
Bloomberg notes that McDonald's will now simply discount the product. It notes that the spiciness...
What do Warren Buffett and Carvel have in common?
If you thought of Buffett's ownership of Dairy Queen and answered "ice cream", you are only partially correct.
In addition to the DQ franchise, Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK) also distributes Benjamin Moore Paints. Much like Carvel franchisees did 30 years ago, the dealers of Benjamin Moore now face a dark future due to alternative channels of distribution.
In the case of Carvel, the culprit was changing consumer habits that favored buying ice cream at the supermarket instead of the local mom-and-pop store. In the case of Benjamin Moore, the culprit is the rise of the big-box home improvement store.
This is one area where zors can have interests diametrically opposed to zees: the zor wants to follow the retail consumer, but...
It was management consultant, Peter Drucker, who advised the best way to predict the future was to create it. Creating new things being difficult, the next best way is to have access to validated and predictive loyalty and emotional engagement metrics to help point the way. Happily, we do. And after examining over 100,000 consumer assessments, we’ve identified 14 critical trends to help marketers create their own, successful futures next year.
Consumers Expect More: Over the past 5 years consumer expectations have increased on average 20%. Brands have kept up by only 5%, a big gap between what’s desired and what’s delivered. The ability to accurately measure real, unarticulated expectations, will provide significant advantages.
Attention Must Be Paid to Brands:...