Hilton as a group has a successful record in serving a standardized experience the world over. But this sameness of the experience goes against the concept of luxury. They had to reinvent themselves and add to their portfolio of brands to consolidate their position as a luxury brand. In order to reposition themselves they have renewed their focus on luxury and now John Vanderslice is Hilton Worldwide’s global head of luxury and lifestyle brands. Conrad and Waldorf Astoria hotel are the truly luxury brands in their large portfolio. They are taking several initiatives to reinforce in the consumer’s mind their identity as a luxury brand.
As part of this series of initiatives, John is hosting The Luxury Manifesto which is a new web video series that will run online and on the Facebook pages for Conrad and Waldorf Astoria. The idea is to highlight through these brands Hilton’s corporate commitment to the luxury sector. John brings across the point through conversations with other luxury brand leaders. The first five-minute webisode was posted recently. The short episode features some big names from the luxury industry including fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger, New York-based restaurateur Danny Meyer, and Saks CEO Stephen Sadove. They are all seen discussing the subtle and not so subtle changes in the luxury industry and where they think luxury is going.
Hilton has released a press note about the series. It high lights four areas that were identified by the leaders of the industry who were interviewed. Employees First is a concept that puts employees before customers because only happy and empowered employees can deliver the service required for this industry. Experience Over Things has become more pronounced after the economic slowdown and now a simple possession of things is not considered luxury but a unique personal experience is. Service Does Not Equal Hospitality as service is a technical process but hospitality is the creation of a truly luxurious experience. And finally they concluded that Time is the Ultimate Luxury as excellent luxury service anticipates and handles guests’ needs.