in Business Design

Balancing Act: Westin

westin logo John Holusha of the New York Times profiles Westin’s decision to move to an all non-smoking format in their hotels. I think this rocks on several levels:

  1. It’s progressive, recognizing only 6% of customers request smoking rooms (only half of which actually smoke in the rooms), and this segment isn’t key to their success. Also see Nikon’s move to all-digital cameras.
  2. It’s good for customers, in that Westin’s in-house smoking cessation program will help the 90% of smoking customers that say they want to stop.
  3. It’s good for business, creating more flexible room inventory and avoiding the damage caused by smoke and cigarette burns.

It’s a brave thing to aspire to higher goals for your revenue, brand, environment, and customer satisfaction, then design a solution that addresses all of them.

  1. I agree; good for customers, good for business and progressive.

    And I would add it is good for their brand. Be loved or hated but be something other than in the predictable middle. In an industry that historically has tried to be all things to all people (and who among us hasn’t tried that pattern) Westin is going to be reviled by some for going all non-smoking and admired by others.

    One of my favorite examples like this of brave brand aspirations is the Scion XB – why be beautiful when you can be interesting?

    Good posting and thanks for the report on Westin’s decision!

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