Segmenting in Gladstone Hotel
Gladstone Hotel in Toronto, Canada, is a heritage hotel having Victorian style built up with contemporary luxury interiors. Gladstone is unique in many ways, first of all, it patronizes local artists from Toronto and nearby places to present and exhibit their works / talents to the guests. It has 37 rooms, all designed by the local artists, each one with unique interiors having distinct names such as Sky Gazer room, Teen Queen, Sugarbush etc. It also has four venues for varied events and two restaurants. The event spaces are suited for art exhibitions, live performances, meetings, private events, weddings and the like. The restaurants are Melody bar and a café. The café serves coffee, breakfast, lunch, dinner and brunch to the guests so as to strongly bond them with the restaurant. The Melody bar along with providing wine / beer / cocktails serves as a perfect place for anyone to work with their notepad / laptop or a serious book in the day time and presents an ambience filled with live music, innovative cocktails and karaoke by night. Gladstone is a creative joint, geared up to provide authentic, memorable experience for its guests.
Gladstone, a landmark building from the 19th century and a long-lasted, Hotel in Toronto, is named after the English politician and the then British Prime Minister William Gladstone. It was built in 1889 by the Robinson family, and the hotel was run by the Robinson family heirs until Zeidler family bought it in the year 2000. Till now, Gladstone hotel has been a family concern.
Christina Zeidler the current owner of Gladstone Hotel has an intense experience as a film and video artist and has won many Canadian awards in the field of film. She has in her team Andrew Scott (Event Coordinator), Kaleb Robertson (Director, Cultural Programs), and Alex De La Calleja (Hotel Manager). She manages this hotel with passion and strives to promote the hotel as an experiential hub, rather than just a place to stay. In 2005, she renovated and re-launched this hotel to make it as Toronto’s pivotal for arts, music, food, drink, and event production. The Gladstone Hotel aspires to be a heritage and cultural spot of Toronto’s hospitality landscape.
- Though the Gladstone hotel has a rich history and is a unique place for an experiential indulgence, it holds a relatively lower rank in the hotel rating sites such as tripadvisor.com. A very recent update on the tripdvisor.com has the following comment.
While protecting and maintaining its heritage value and promoting local creativity in the form of arts and events, Gladstone seems to be losing business or trying to serve the wrong customers. The team of four key players mentioned earlier recently took a couple of days out of their daily schedules and brainstormed on the issue of effective marketing for their experiential property. The key players asked themselves. Can we serve all kinds of customers who book rooms with us? What kind of customers, we want? What process, we should undertake while taking booking from the guests? Who are our competitors? Etc. They realized the need of knowing the core customers of business and the customer’s priorities. Their ideation session on marketing ended with certain resolutions.
First one is to define who the customers are and then craft a unique experience for them. They realized that Gladstone is into more of ‘experience’ business and less of ‘service’ business. They decided to sell their experiential offerings only to the right customers. If the customer needs do not match with the Gladstone offerings, then the customer is to be helped to take bookings elsewhere. By doing this, Gladstone can earn goodwill among the non-customers and can avoid erosion of brand value.
Second is to ally with appropriate third party organizations. Christina’s team realized that the ‘experience’ start for a customer the moment they come in contact with the hotel's representatives and the ‘experiences’ should be exceptional from the first touch point. The alliance with channel partners is to be made carefully and ensure that the customer gets what is intended by the Gladstone.
Third is to increase presence on the internet to reach the right customers. Using techniques of SEO and keywords spillage, reach the right customers and make them aware of the unique experiential offerings of Gladstone. Frequently observe, listen and monitor tourist / traveler review sites that invite comments from the past, regular and current guests.
Fourth one is to have the right mix of local and outside customers. To make the boutique hotel sustainable both local, as well as outside customers, are to be wooed. While rooms may be offered for out of city customers, the events and restaurants shall be promoted among the local customers.
Experience is a combination of both tangible and intangible aspects. A boutique hotel like Gladstone may be appropriate for business, a honeymoon, a get together, sabbaticals or a vacation. The target market may be in 25-55 age range, most within the middle to upper income level. Still marketing strategies need to be formulated by studying the market at regular intervals.
Christina, B., & Lara, S. (September 2011). Boutique Hotel Segment- The challenge of standing out from the crowd, Retrieved February 6, 2014 from http://www.hvs.com/Content/3171.pdf
http://www.tripadvisor.in/Hotel_Review-g155019-d582667-Reviews-Gladstone_Hotel-Toronto_Ontario.html,, retrieved February 6, 2014
International Labor Organization. (2010). Developments and challenges in the hospitality and tourism sector, Issues paper for discussion at the Global Dialogue Forum for the Hotels, Catering, Tourism Sector (23–24 November 2010), Geneva, International Labor Office retrieved February 6, 2014 from http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---ed_dialogue/---sector/documents/meetingdocument/wcms_162202.pdf