Saturday, 6 June 2015
The Luxury Branding Expert Certified Indigenous: One-on-one with Meredith Dichter
After more than fifteen years in luxury marketing working for brands such as Gucci and Boucheron, I have now spent over ten years working on brands under the Starwood Hotels & Resorts umbrella. In 2008, I became the company's Director of Global Brand Marketing developing its Luxury Collection.
I was born and raised in New York and I am very well-travelled. I have always loved and have been fascinated by the luxury culture. I love and believe in what I do; that is why I enjoy it.
I would say authenticity; it is important to remain true to your identity. Above all, service delivery should be personalized and tangible.
The Luxury Collection brand began when ITT Sheraton purchased a controlling interest in CIGA (Compagnia Italiana Grandi Alberghi, or Italian Grand Hotels Company), an Italian hotel chain, in 1994. Those hotels, as well as a number of top-tier Sheraton Hotels, were then marketed as ITT Sheraton Luxury Hotels. After Starwood bought Sheraton, they established a separate brand identity for The Luxury Collection and expanded it.
The Luxury Collection is strictly controlled, the process of joining is fast and simple for most established independent luxury hotels. The requirements vary but they are mostly one-of-a-kind properties. Some are palaces, others range from remote retreats to timeless modern classics. There are also some basics requirements to follow such as bathroom amenities, room size, quality of linen service, branding of toiletries etc.
Yes and we are continuing to develop and welcome new properties. There are for example new openings like the Excelsior Hotel Gallia, a Luxury Collection Hotel in Milan owned by Katara Hospitality, the unique Augustine in Prague and the Porto Piccolo in Trieste, Italy. Starwood understands the allure of uncompromising style as well as their unique operational requisites.
Certified Indigenous was created to celebrate the concierges of the luxury collection and the wonderful service that they provide to guests. It showcases how guests can spend 24 hours usefully at a destination.
It is a combination and they go hand-in-hand. Guests are usually looking for a home away from home so they are looking for appealing surroundings together with an excellent service to match.
Avoid appealing too much to the trend; be true to your identity and do not “insult” the consumer’s intelligence.
Authenticity, core values of the brand, know your guest because “one size doesn’t fit all”