Overcoming orthodoxy to serve new market segments

Questions to help you look for new niches.

by. Lisa Hochgraf

Traditional hotels have a window of time every day that’s “no new customers allowed.”

Most hotels ask guests to check out in the late morning, and allow new guests to check in at 3 p.m. This gives the hotel’s housekeeping staff time to clean and otherwise ready the rooms.

But hotels that follow this model can’t fully serve the guest who arrives on a morning flight and would love to take a shower before the first business meeting of the day.

“Housekeeping would go crazy,” said Rob Lippert, Ph.D., in his presentation yesterday to attendees of CEO Institute I: Strategic Planning, at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School in Philadelphia. But housekeeping shouldn’t run a hotel.

You can rent a car for unlimited miles or an extra half day, noted Lippert, a principal in Decision Strategies International, Conshohocken, Pa. A hotel that could find a way to change its concept of “a day’s stay” could better serve a whole new slice of the market.


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