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Each of the 57 Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts epitomises the very essence of Asian hospitality, and the group has grown steadily over the past 40 years. However, as part of its global expansion strategy it set itself the business goal of increasing its revenue by US$90 million. This equated to selling 10 more rooms per hotel each night. Rather than use promotional pricing it decided to develop a stronger Shangri-La brand, to drive more visitors and secure longer-term growth. The target audiences were the 66,000 employees and the aged 35+, upmarket, premium business travellers who account for around 70% of Shangri-La’s business. These travellers spend a lot of time away from home, preferring to stay at familiar five-star hotels. However, research showed that the luxury could never compensate them for the loneliness and alienation of yet another foreign trip. The Shangri-La delivers Asian luxury service with a smiling face and a respectful bow and treats each guest as if they are royalty. Yet at the Shangri-La the culture expresses a deeper sense of humanity, with staff referring to and treating guests as if they were visitors to their own homes. Even the training materials emphasised ‘everything should come from the heart’. Loyal guests called Shangri-La ‘a part of the family’ (http://www.warc.com/Content/ContentViewer.aspx?MasterContentRef=eb33cafb-d6aa-4f7d-a29a9379d5c07663&q=salience-94019fn07) . From this the engagement strategy started to emerge, namely that at Shangri-La the guest was not a King – but Kin, a human being. In order to convey this proposition communications needed to be very distinctive, unorthodox for the sector yet emotionally engaging. Using visual and aural language to express pure luxury, stories were told, using metaphors about the benevolence of animals who embraced humans as their own. This was expressed through a striking film and three print executions. These depicted a traveller lost in the snow, who to his surprise was rescued by wolves. These were supported by the line ‘There is no greater act of hospitality than to embrace a stranger as one’s own. Shangri-La. It’s in our nature.’ Ahead of the campaign launch, all staff were presented with a brand manifesto which was also printed in a pocket book. This contained Shangri-La’s proposition translated into principles of behaviour. All staff training was redesigned and all 66,000 employees attended launch events at every hotel to see the creative before anyone else. With huge jigsaw puzzles to illustrate the print executions, and postcards inviting staff to feed back their views of the proposition, the goal was to convey the importance of each member of staff as an integral part of the brand promise. The media strategy included the usual high-reach media of in-flight TV and magazines and lifestyle and business press. However, it also included BBC News24, CNN and Starworld, and similar media, as this reflected the frequency with which business travellers attempt to reconnect with home when they visit their home news portals, business sites, TV channels and magazines. In 2010, revenue increased by US$302.7 million year on year. The campaign generated an extra 937,980 room sales, which is equivalent to 45 more rooms per hotel per night. This exceeded the objective by more than four times. The media spend amounted to US$7.5 million, which meant that the campaign paid back US$40 for each US$1 media spend. Source:Moustou and Tam (2011); www.shangri-la.com ; Walters (2010)

Question Which of the quadrants in the FCB grid might this campaign best fit?

Task Find another luxury hotel brand and evaluate their brand promise.

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