Sunday, November 27, 2011
Club Quarters: The language of marketing cues
I was to stay one night in Washington last week, and my client offered me a choice of hotels. One was a brand known to me as fancy and expensive (not The Four Seasons but something equally ritzy sounding—like the Rolex Suites or the Lamborghini Lodge). Nah. Not appropriate to spend that kind of dough for this trip.
The other option was a hotel called Club Quarters—which I had never heard of. What was that one like?
I clicked into the Club Quarters website and there was a phrase that stuck out like a tarantula on a slice of angel food cake. This hotel was "for the sensible traveler." Hoo-boy! What an ominously communicative word: "sensible."
A hotel for the "sensible traveler" would have no pillow mint, terry-cloth robe or mini-bar. It's a hotel where you check in using an ATM-like machine—and where you wake yourself up in the morning. No continental breakfast... You walk upstairs to your 10th-floor room. The gym is a rubber ball you squeeze. And heat? Just wear your flannel shirt to bed. After all, you're probably from Maine—the legendary hub of sensible folks.
I stayed there, and it was not spartan, as you can see from the picture. It was just fine—even better: Without the gratuitous and excessive indicators of extreme coddling found in many hotels, I felt... I felt that I was... I was being... well, sensi... no, I was being deprived!
Just kidding. "Sensible" I was. Great word. Apt signal of value delivered.