For our daughters’ birthdays a couple of years ago, my wife and I took them on an overnight family trip to Atlanta to go to the American Girl Store. We also got the American Girl package at the nearby Marriott.
They had a great time at the store where they got new dolls, had them made up, and had a birthday party. After finishing up at the store we went to our hotel for the night. The sign on the outside said Marriott, but when we entered the lobby the hotel had been transformed into the “American Girl Hotel.” The girls were greeted as honored guests as they walked down the pink carpet and checked in. When we arrived in our room there was pink bedding and towels. There were beds for the dolls. A little later someone brought milk and cookies for the girls and the dolls.
That evening all the girls gathered in a meeting room to watch an American Girl movie. While they were watching the movie I struck up a conversation with one of the staff members about the American Girl package. He said that the hotel was primarily a business hotel during the week, but during the weekends many of the rooms were typically unused. Since they started the American Girl package they were able to fill 20-30 rooms on both Friday and Saturday nights that were unsold previously.
What does American Girl have to do with business? There were several lessons that I learned:
- Know your customers.
Even though I was footing the bill, the customers for that weekend were my girls. Everything the hotel did was geared toward them.
- Give your customers a wonderful experience.
My girls were treated very special and they were treated to a memorable experience. Even today my girls ask me when are we going back to the American Girl Hotel.
- Think outside the box.
Don’t just do everything the way that you always have. Look for new opportunities.
- Utilize your resources to capacity.
If you have some resources that you are not fully using, find ways to get the maximum out of them.
Look for ways to improve your business or personal life using these principles. A children’s birthday party may not be the typical place to learn ways to improve your business, but we can learn from all of our life’s experiences.
What do you think? Do you see any other lessons?