The Promise and the Reality


The Sheraton Skyline hotel in London (out by the airport) had the word “belong” plastered everywhere. If you’ve seen my speeches in the last little while, one of my favorite points to make is that “business is about belonging.” I thought to myself, “I wonder how Sheraton attempts to make me feel like I belong.”

I did a little research and found that Sheraton has been working on helping me feel like I belong since 2006. Evidently, they used to hand out 10 minute phone cards to encourage you to stay in touch with home. There were other touches in play then, too.

My experience wasn’t bad. It just wasn’t so much about belonging. The front desk process was pleasant. I was upsold into the Club area, which cost a bit more, but afforded me access to wifi (rooms only had wired internet), where I was served some drinks, some snacks, and could watch TV and the like (it looked a bit like the first class room at most airports- US level of quality, not Europe, which is to say, not as good).

What Is the Promise You Make and What Is the Reality?

I’ve been thinking about this as it applies to my own business and efforts. I promise to give people quite a useful and energetic and entertaining keynote. I have to deliver on that, or people won’t want me back. I promise to give my clients useful and actionable strategic consulting around business (primarily sales and marketing), communications, and technology, and if I don’t, then they don’t ask me back.

What are the promises you’re making, and what is the reality of what is delivered?

Now, think about that with regards to social media efforts. Just because you have a happy dappy intern talking sweetly about your whatever company on Twitter, does that relate to the experience people will have in your stores? If no, why promise one thing in your online channel and not deliver it when you get offline? How will these experiences match up?

Are you ready to make the promise that people BELONG at your business? And if so, what are you doing about it?

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