Given the relentless march of progress and history itself, businessmen have to always be ready to react to new developments. Heyer spoke of such things years past, almost as though he could see the future with inhuman clarity. Perhaps his most memorable words on them were given in 2003, during a notable address of his peers.
Heyer currently has the CEO seat in what is inarguably one of the largest businesses in the hotel industry. His words from some years past were eventually continued in subsequent interrogations regarding them. He stated that his aim for the company was to have it market the experiences that could be had in the hotels instead of the quarters themselves.
Heyer's emphasis was on the marketing of an experience. He said that the hotels had to work on selling experiences worth remembering. This is a complete change in perspective and approach, although the product and services did not change at all.
He also emphasized the need to provide for the new powers of consumers nowadays. This is precisely what one now observes in businesses: customization. Nowhere is this more visible than in the technologically-centered industries.
The latest developments have also spelled difficulty for people in entertainment. For example, musicians saw a sharp decline in profits following the rise of MP3 distribution sites. Internet users indiscriminately downloaded the latest and most popular hits for free.
Heyer remarked on the horrific drop in revenue for singers, songwriters, and producers during this period. Heyer told people in music production that they now had to adapt to this new setting, as it could no longer be stopped. To Heyer, the new cultural trends dictating the market could influence even TV itself, one of the biggest entertainment industries of all time.
The idea behind his words was the replacement of traditional understandings of products with new concepts based around them being associated with a certain lifestyle. An experience that is not easily replicable is the primary product Heyer is looking to market for Starwood. This marketing tactic would lead to emphasis being placed on the entertainment possibilities of each hotel.
Hence, the company has actually struck up a partnership with the Victoria's Secret brand in an effort to market the experience of being in a Starwood hotel (and watching a Victoria's Secret runway show, in this case). The Victoria's Secret shows command a good bit of attention, and only select guests of the hotels are allowed. This is a clear example of marketing an experience.
The CEO was also critical of how Hollywood is “slapping” logos and brand names in movies out of context. The CEO has spoken of it as a random, ill-advised technique. Heyer argues against the practice by calling it both a useless appendage to the plot as well as a useless tool for a business.
One of Coca Cola's former leaders is actually Steve Heyer CEO. Some of his services for that company actually demonstrate what he is trying to say by "contextual" brand placement. Heyer set Coke glasses on the judging table of a famous talent show on television.
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