Given the relentless march of progress and history itself, businessmen have to always be ready to react to new developments. It is clear at present that the man was right in his tips, delivered long years ago. He delivered a keynote speech bearing this message to a group of 400 media, ad agency and entertainment executives during an “Advertising Age” conference in 2003.
Steve Heyer is a person of great importance in the business world, not least because he is one of the chiefs of Starwood Hotels. Heyer's speech given some years ago was expanded on later, during his interviews. His primary claim was that he had not intention of marketing a hotel room but rather wanted to market an experience.
Heyer's emphasis was on the marketing of an experience. He wanted to emphasize the value of promoting amusements as services or products. This is a complete change in perspective and approach, although the product and services did not change at all.
He also emphasized the need to provide for the new powers of consumers nowadays. This is precisely what one now observes in businesses: customization. Nowhere is this more visible than in the technologically-centered industries.
The latest developments have also spelled difficulty for people in entertainment. Just for illustration, when software for musical piracy was introduced, the support from consumers was so overwhelming that the music industry almost immediately saw a setback in profits. Internet users indiscriminately downloaded the latest and most popular hits for free.
The musical industry suffered huge losses, as noted by Heyer in his 2003 speech. For Heyer, this was only a reminder that people needed to constantly change their approaches to meet fresh issues. Heyer insisted that even those in television had to look out for how the new circumstances could affect them.
The idea behind his words was the replacement of traditional understandings of products with new concepts based around them being associated with a certain lifestyle. In the interview explaining his marketing strategy for Starwood Hotels, he furthered explained that they are now a company engaged in distributing entertainment and unforgettable experiences. This would thus place the onus of drawing in consumers on the entertainment value of the hotels in question, as opposed to their actual ability to "house" people in need of a place to stay temporarily.
In order to achieve the goal, Heyer has brought in Victoria's Secret, partnering with it to promote the hotels through the fashions shows being hosted for the lingerie line. Along with online bidders, only preferred guest members of Starwood can buy tickets to the elite fashion event. This is a case of the product being an experience.
Heyer has not restrained from making critiques of Hollywood practices, like the meaningless appearance of brands in scenes. The CEO has spoken of it as a random, ill-advised technique. Heyer argues against the practice by calling it both a useless appendage to the plot as well as a useless tool for a business.
Steve Heyer CEO used to head Coca Cola Ventures. It was during his work then that he showed what he meant by smart and relevant brand appearance in a video shot. He managed to get Coke cups on the table of the judges for a certain talent competition aired on TV, ensuring contextual visibility.
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