December 30th, 2009
Mark Hurst interviewed Brian King, VP & Global Brand Manager for Courtyard by Marriott about the new design of their hotels. It’s a great read, talking about how you revitalize a cash-cow business by creating a great experience.
One of Brian’s comments jumped out at me:
We took our knowledge and created, in a warehouse in San Francisco, an entire lobby made out of white foam core. We built it to scale. Then we brought in consumers to get feedback on the overall experience of the space. We didn’t want feedback on color choices, like blue versus red. Instead we wanted feedback on using welcome pedestals, rather than a clunky front desk. Our associates circle around the space rather than standing in one place, and we wanted customer feedback on that. And the foam core allowed for rapid prototyping. After we got user feedback, we could rip it apart and build it again to get the concept right.
It’s one thing to talk about the abstract notion of protoyping a web page or a dialog box. But to prototype an entire lobby experience? That’s pretty cool.
Not too different than what Apple did with the Apple Store. Who said an old-tyme business like Marriott can’t play the same game as the cool kids. See? There’s hope for us all!
(Hat tip: Dana Chisnell)Tweet