John Paulo Cardoso

About John Paulo Cardoso

John Paulo believes that true design thinking brings meaning to the mass of needs, wants, ideas and perceptions, creating brand. ...

Posts by John Paulo Cardoso:

Starwood makes its brand memorable with music

04_22_14_StarwoodHotels

Hotels are for sleeping. Hotels are for meetings. Hotels are for dining and getting together for a drink in the bar. And now, in a natural and intuitive brand extension, hotels are for music.

Through its Global Music Tour, the Starwood Preferred Guest Program is bringing internationally renowned artists to its hotels for the exclusive enjoyment of its guests. The tagline for the Tour is ‘Hear the music, see the world.’

Why is this brilliant?

Starwood Hotels are about experience and exploration. This meticulous brand has 1,175 properties in 100 countries, but they’re segmented into nine distinct banners that reflect the level of luxury and personal attention individual guests expect from a hotel. This tailored to measure approach to accommodation is a part of Starwood’s mission to deliver wonderful experiences to its guests.

Music, especially music that’s a three minute elevator ride from your room and created just for you, is an enriched and expanded experience. It is memorable because it puts Starwood’s international destinations to music.

Starwood is a believer in maintaining its connection with its customers through the Starwood Preferred Guest Program. With the Global Music Tour, the brand has found that elusive extra emotional hook.

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Delivering on Your Brand’s Promise?

Being a Leader

Getting the most from employees starts with giving them what they need. This doesn’t include a chorus of Kumbaya and a round of group hugs but it does mean investing time and energy into understanding them. And here’s the amazing thing that happens when you invest time in your employees, it pays dividends.

Harvard Business Review has indicated that highly engaged employees, on average, are 50% more likely to exceed expectations than the least-engaged. And companies with highly engaged people outperform firms with the most disengaged folks – by 54% in employee retention, by 89% in customer satisfaction and fourfold in revenue growth.

And here’s the other amazing benefit of working to ensure your employees are engaged. Employees nowadays are looking for more than just a j-o-b. They are looking for an experience. And not just any old experience. They want something meaningful. And so do customers. Disney Institute and McKinsey Company recently released a report indicating that companies that focus on giving their customers a consistently exceptional experience enjoyed a 2 percentage point advantage over their peers in revenue growth and an increase in employee satisfaction and engagement of 30 percent.

And while not every company has the resources to be able to offer programs like giving employees time to work on creative projects of the employee’s choosing, I’d like to believe that every company can invest in attracting and developing strong leaders to drive employee engagement.

How do you make this happen in your organization? It starts by opening your mind, looking at things with a fresh set of eyes and asking questions. The innovators will look for better ways to do things and those brave enough will take action.

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What do we want Made in Canada to mean to consumers?

Made In Canada Enamel Sign

‘Economic Action Plan 2014 announces that a private sector steering committee will be established to lead the development of a “Made-in-Canada” consumer awareness campaign.

‘…To help address the interests of consumers and highlight the quality and range of Canadian products, as we compete in more diverse export markets, the Government will undertake consultations with the private sector to develop a “Made-in-Canada” branding campaign…’

As a proud Canadian, my right-off-the-top-of-my-head reaction to this proposed campaign is wildly enthusiastic.  After all, we are most excellent shooters of pucks, drinkers of beer and extractors of petroleum.  We are growers of wheat, sayers of  “I’m sorry” and exporters of Arctic air masses.  We are Canadians and right now, at least, our national identity is about our success at hockey and freestyle athletes who spend much of their time in the air, upside down.  But this is more than own the podium.  This is a sustainable increase in sales.

The first of my whole cranium full of questions about this campaign has to do with who we are targeting.    The stated purpose is consumer awareness.  But to me, any Made in Canada program has to win the hearts and will of both manufacturers and their customers who each must believe that a Made in Canada logo will add cachet to whatever they’re trying to sell.   As Canadians, we love our country.  We’re proud of our country.  But, we’re also savvy enough to realize that a Made in Canada program has to stand for something beyond red mittens and waving the flag.

If we’re consulted at Spyder Works, and I hope we are, my first concern would be confusing Canada-the-country with Canada-the-manufacturer, exporter and purveyor of customer satisfaction.   Which positive attributes of a successful country contribute to the positive attributes of a brand?  Do Canadian companies reflect where they live?  And another question I have is whether Made in Canada is the same as Imagined in Canada ?  We have increasingly become a knowledge economy but many of our inventions, inspirations and innovations are actually made in China, or Mexico, or India.

If we are to put aside the Olympic celebration and ask what Canada really stands for, what are we really selling here?  On the plus side, we are an inclusive and diverse society that makes an honest effort to take compassionate care of our citizens.  We are brave peacekeepers.  We are well educated, creative and open-minded.  We are home to many well known global brands in many different categories like Lululemon, Roots, G Adventures, Bombardier, Blackberry, Agrium and Magna.   We are friendly and polite.  We are active and activists.

We talk a lot about innovation, but I don’t think the world necessarily notices.  But maybe, most noteworthy of all, with a population of 34 million, we are not a big country.  We are not Walmart or Home Depot.  We are more like a boutique with a hundred locations and we are not going to undersell anyone.  Maybe that’s what we need to talk about.  What is it about our Made in Canada boutique and Made in Canada logo that could excite our own Canadian companies, Canadian consumers and the rest of the world?

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