Departures magazine this summer wrote about “status symbol” freebies and signature amenities which reminded me of how an amenity can go far in building a brand, adding value, and generating press and word of mouth. The best amenities relate to the brand’s image and are something you can consume and are useful, as opposed to my least favorite amenity in the whole world – the paperweight. I also think it’s preferable not to have the logo prominent because then it can smack of an advertisement, lessening its value. One of the better ones I’ve read about in the same article is the Warby Parker sunglasses Andre Balazs gave all passengers last summer on his STND Air charter. Aman Resorts has their own leather luggage tags which have become collector items, another good one. Beauty salons who got the message include Kenneth Salon, a favorite of Park Avenue socialites, that serves tea sandwiches every afternoon and I remember a tony salon in Madrid that comes around with silver platters of toast with olive oil, tomato, and the prized jamon Serrano. It’s surprising more top restaurants don’t give diners a takeaway – like New York’s The Modern, who I remember gave me a lemon pound cake as a parting gift. On the other hand, last year in Paris I had a martini at the signature bar of one of the city’s iconic hotels, paid the equivalent of about $50 for the martini and was served the usual bar snacks. A missed opportunity for sure.
Blogpost by Karen Weiner Escalera, President and Chief Strategist