This is a story all about how (… not Fresh Prince-style, but kinda) the Four Seasons is excellent at what they do, offline and online.
I’m a sucker for a consistent brand experience. Think, Chipotle for food, and Southwest Airlines, JetBlue, and Norwegian Cruise lines to name a few excellent travel experiences as of late. When you find a brand who does the in-person experience as well as they do the online brand experience, it’s a magical thing.
I’ve already shared the story of how the Four Seasons in Denver won our hearts for our pre-wedding and wedding-night stay. To recap: I put the word out on Twitter that we wanted a sweet hotel for this special occasion while we were getting married in Denver. My friend Jen recommended Four Seasons, and within minutes, actual minutes, the brand had already responded, looking to accomodate us. We were stoked.
Here’s the deal. There is no way we could afford Four Seasons on the regular. We don’t travel a lot, and when we do, we’re usually visiting friends or family, so a hotel is the least of our worries. But I will tell you this: on every vacation, moving forward, whenever we can afford it, we will be staying at the Four Seasons.
There are a bunch of reasons why:
- We never felt like we weren’t good enough to stay there – as is not always the case with luxury brands if you aren’t, yourself, luxurious.
- The staff is incredible, from the PR manager (at the Denver hotel), to the concierge, to the valet, everyone we encountered made us feel like royalty.
- The rooms. Oh the rooms. The Four Seasons Denver is a newer addition to the chain, so it’s to be expected that the rooms are incredible, but yeah. The beds are incredible (I could stay there all day), the rooms are well-decorated and spacious, and the bathrooms are something to write home about. The shower, in particular, is worth writing home about. In fact, I did.
- The little things. A welcome gift from the PR Manager when we arrived. Personalized turn down service, with a tree of lollipops and a tweet from @FSDenver transposed on white chocolate.
And then, there’s this tweet.
I woke up on November 11th, all nerdy like, and shouted an excited “Happy One Month of Being Married Anniversary” to Barry. We laughed, because for the past month we’ve been on the road and entertaining one of his students from Chicago, so we haven’t really had any us-time since our honeymoon. And then I saw this tweet. And I was wowed.
It’s one thing to make a guest feel like a rockstar before they get there (not a lot of brands do), it’s one thing to make them feel like a rockstar while they’re staying with you (or dining, or flying, or otherwise interacting with your brand however that works with your brand), but it’s quite another to remember, one month after you’ve already paid the bill, that it is a guest’s anniversary. And a measly anniversary at that.
And this, my friends, is why no matter what the circumstances, if we can swing a stay at the Four Seasons, we will. It’s a big spend for us on our skydiving-generated income, but when it comes to special occasions, and being taken care of: Four Seasons is tops. Period. The end.
On our honeymoon, we did a spa treatment on board the Norwegian Pearl, an hour massage, focusing on neck, back, and scalp. Afterwards, we decided that this is something we want to try to do monthly – to reset, to take care of ourselves, and, more importantly, to have some quality us-time to look forward to every month.
If there is some way for me to swing the spa treatments happening at a Four Seasons hotel/spa, you can bet your bottom dollar I will. Because at the end of the day, people like buying things from their friends. And while I don’t know the staff at every Four Seasons hotel, I can totally get behind the brand experience, and I feel valued there. So they get my money, even if it’s on an infrequent basis.
So, Dana and the rest of the staff at Four Seasons Denver: thank you. Thank you for an incredible stay for our wedding, thank you for this experience, and thank you for allowing me to experience what it’s like to be on the opposite side of a well-balanced brand interaction.
DISCLAIMER: I was not paid or compensated in any way to write this review. I just really freaking love Four Seasons Denver and can’t wait to check out other locations as time/money allows. Word.
A little back story: I used to be a student brand manager for Chipotle at USF. The other day, I ventured in for my usual: a chicken salad with black beans, veggies, corn salsa, regular salsa, cheese and guac, with sour cream on the side. Everyone and their mom says that Chipotle is horrible for you, but really, it doesn’t have to be. ANYWAY, I get back to my desk to enjoy my delicious salad and my chicken is cold.
I wasn’t looking for any freebies. Really. Having used to work with the Chipotle marketing team, I know how important food quality is to them and I just wanted them to know that the chicken was cold. One less-than-usually-stellar salad wasn’t going to keep me from going back. I love me some Chipotle. I had to go through a couple hoops to get to the right forum to let them know, but once I did I received a friendly email from one of the marketing gals, asking for my mailing address so they could send me a gift card so I could enjoy another salad. Next time, with hot chicken.
So, my dear friends at Chipotle (and fellow burrito-lovers), a little brand haiku for you:
I love Chipotle.
Chicken salad is my fave.
Can’t wait to go back.
Nearly two months to the day of our SXSW debut, the podcast is up for Why Gen-Y Wants to Work “With” You vs. “For” You. Click here to have a listen!
With that, I say: “Get on the boat!”
And there’s video (this one is the long one).
And there’s more video (this one is shorter, in case you have ADD).
So let’s chat – Gen-Y – all it’s cracked up to be? If you identify yourself as Gen-Y, what are some stereotypes you run into? How can Gen-Y better succeed in the workplace? Are you on the boat with this whole “With” vs. “For” thing? Why or why not?
Things are going to be changing around here. I’ll keep you posted. Until next time, email me with any thoughts, ideas, comments, concerns, any feedback you may have about the future content that will live here.
Thanks for being here!
You need to network your face off. If you’re scared to meet new people, you need to get over that. Today.
- Use social media to find people you’d like to work with. The most important thing you can do for your career is find people to connect with (via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, whatever your medium of choice is) and meet with them offline. Twitter gives you access to people you might not otherwise be able to connect with on your average Monday. Hop on LinkedIn, find a company you’d like to work with, and then see who else is listed under that company. There’s a list to work off of. Or do a Twitter search for the name of the company. However you find these people is up to you and what you’re comfortable with. But get to know them, add value, and meet them offline for coffee or something.
- Meet up offline. As much as I love social media and I love everything that is coming of this wave of information, meeting people face to face is still the best thing. For example, my first social gathering in Chicago was organized for me before I moved here. A Tweet Up with Tim Jahn, John Morrison and Scott Bishop. It was awesome. I grilled them about anything and everything Chicago and they were my initial circle of friends that quickly expanded.
- Go to SXSW (or a similar conference for your trade). If you’re interested in social media and how it is affecting PR, marketing, and everything inbetween, you should definitely plan on going to SXSW (read: South by Southwest). Attending SXSW is one of the key factors in how I got to where I am today. I walked into SXSW with the intent of meeting some awesome people. My mentor said it would be like my career fair. I walked out of there with two solid contacts re: jobs/internships and a handful more that I could call on if I had questions about the industry. Mission accomplished.
- Go to local networking events. Social Media Club is also a great way to meet people and connect with them offline. If your city doesn’t have a chapter started, get on board and start one. Chances are you know some top tweeters in your city – rally up the troops and shoot Chris an email.
- Talk to people that have been there, done that. For more on how to network in a new city, check out Matt Cheuvront’s latest here. He just moved from Nashville to Chicago and his advice is solid (and timely, since I was just writing the same post). And the podcast at the end shows a little love for yours truly around the three minute mark . If you don’t know Matt and I’s history – we pretty much took identical paths to get to where we are today (only real difference was Matt didn’t have a job/internship lined up and he moved to the burbs).
Some related posts that might help you through the process of networking, getting job leads, etc:
- “With” vs. “For” – it’s all about your mindset.
- A Social Media How To: Jump-start Your Career and Life. Part One and Part Two.