The Herman Trend Alert
October 26, 2016
First Hospitality Innovation Incubator
For years, Marriott Hotels Corporation has been at the forefront of hotel innovation. Recently, the hotel chain introduced the first hotel innovation incubator---probably in the world---when they opened the M-Beta at the Charlotte Marriott City Center.
Marriott is leading the way
With its recent acquisition of Westin Hotels, Marriott Hotels became the largest lodging in the world. It was only logical that the company would now create a functioning beta test lab, inside one of its hotels. From keyless entry upon arrival to digital experiences in the fitness studio, many aspects of the hotel provide for fast testing of new concepts, inviting guests to give feedback in real-time. Of course, this feedback is used to evolve and challenge the company's thinking and shape the future guest experience.
A real-time, guest-accessible feedback loop
Throughout the hotel, there are conveniently located physical Beta Buttons to gauge consumer feedback. Guests and visitors share their approval for a particular innovation by pushing a Beta Button. Real-time Beta Boards on digital screens throughout the hotel show the aggregated engagement scores, votes, and feedback on hotel innovations.
Featured hotel concepts will rotate periodically. In addition, Marriott will test new products and service offerings. M-Beta at Charlotte Marriott City Center is currently testing a number of innovations, including. . .
Hosted Arrival. Skip the front desk check-in, there isn't one, but hotel staff greet guests personally upon arrival wherever they are--- at the curb, in the lobby, or on the go.
FLEX Fitness.Guests get to choose from nearly 1,000 on-demand group and personal workouts available on screens in the fitness studio or in-room. And as if that weren't enough, you can book the workouts directly through http://flexatmarriott.com/charlotte.
LG Studio in the dynamic meeting space. As the first iteration of a new partnership between Marriott Hotels, their new LG Studio features a full LG kitchen within the hotel's meeting space, allowing guests to tailor their food and beverage experience to any type of gathering.
Track Marriott's innovations on social media
Consumers can track the continued evolution of the hotel's concepts through #MBeta and Marriott Hotels on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. The website TravelBrilliantly.com also posts M-Beta's results for all hoteliers and travelers to see and invites guests to submit other ideas.
Other hoteliers will follow suit.
At the M-Beta, the hotel chain is able to engineer its ongoing transformation, evolving everything from its hotel and room design to its associate training to best meet the changing travel tastes of its guests. Other hotels worldwide, both the chains and the independents, will follow suit, enabling guests to suggest and rate their hotel innovations. No hotelier can afford to stagnate. And allowing guests to help lead innovation just makes sense. "People support what they help to create."
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