Starwood Hotels’ Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts has released a limited edition US destination guide published by Assouline. Part of a set of bound books, the luxuriously crafted books show off the Luxury Collection’s most exquisite properties around the world.
In another example of the trend toward offering what I call “creative branding” products, Starwood “one ups” Jetsetter’s exclusive coffee table conversation piece, Bon Voyage, which we covered yesterday. The Luxury Collection’s most awe inspiring accommodations from India and Italy, to Argentina and Spain, are showcased in these “guides” – but wait one – this passport goes somewhere else too.
Finally, Some Deep Understanding!
To celebrate the release of this work, Starwood and their Luxury Collection (Facebook) are engaging guests to relate their fantastic stories which you can see here on the Facebook aspect. This may seem like just another use of video to pay lip service to the social media gurus and etc. – PR fluff so many huge corporations venture off into at every turn – seamlessly integrated technologies and etc. But look deeper.
When American Airlines wanted to use what they termed “direct connect” Orbitz and the world of OTA’s shuddered (are still shaking) at the thought. With Google engaging in their own version of “directness” – does the world of online travel corporations not see the writing on the wall? Starwood Hotels does. Look at the image below.
The Luxury Collection is created rich guides with tools for destinations where their hotels are. And not just typical descriptions, I am talking better than WikiTravel guides. (I should know I write travel guides).
Someone out there yelled; “So, big deal!” Well, it is a big deal if you combine some useful info with it. For one, at least we can know Starwood has a deeper understanding of where social media, mobile, and the web are headed – Nay, all adverts and bookings. How do I come to this conclusion, you say? Well, for one, think about all the duplicate content on the myriad travel sites out there.
What is “dupe content?” Just what the term suggests, copied content – Google for one, hates it – it is the blight of the search engine indexing world. Think of copy-pasted Wikipedia articles all about the web – where’s the value when the one is enough?
The image below reveals the text of these “guides” as all original – note that pasting a paragraph or so into Google search reveals one exact copy, and another that looks paraphrased – the rest of the versions are on Facebook postings for the Sheraton Sofia branch of Starwood. Why does this matter at all again? Because Google loves spanking new original content (we do this too).
Okay, I will have to do a thorough going over of this site to exhibit just how refined and advanced Starwood’s initiative here is. For now though, what do you expect from a luxury hotel? A mint on the pillow? Puffy, terrycloth robes with emblems? Smiles all around? A website and social engagements that are a lot more than a booking engine – the world, the city, the people around a hotel – a resort, if the guest wants it that is. The image below taken from the same Sofia guide shows how deep Starwood went when thinking of YOU, the guest. To produce this kind of content is expensive – more expensive than Orbitz, Travelport, and many others are willing to pay. More later on this.
Spend Money to Make Money
Starwood Hotels’ Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts announced via press release a very nice bound set of books of impeccable quality – something nice enough to grace anyone’s side tables. But the real story is a trend developing. The same initiative AA tried to engage with – except one for hotels. More later on this. But, Starwood is stepping up their efforts considerably here.
If you watch the video stories via that link up there to Facebook (or here) Enjoy the video below via my personal YouTube and Starwood.