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The Best in Experience Marketing - An Ode to the QE2 and What Can be Learned from Her

by Phyllis Barr
Corporate Culture Marketing by Barr Consulting Services
New York, NY 
For additional information: see below
I thought would do something different and pay homage to a great lady, the Queen Elizabeth 2, which has great lessons about experience marketing.
(Note: I have never worked for Cunard or any firm connected with them. I have lectured as a passenger several times and written an article about candy making on board, but do NOT speak for them in any way. These are totally my personal thoughts.) 

I have been thinking a lot lately of some experiences, unlike any others, I have experienced. I don't think of them as marketing experiences, but in a way they are. This never entered my mind while having the experiences which says something positive about them. They are is some ways the best examples of experience marketing.

I am sure you are all familiar with the Queen Elizabeth 2. She is "retiring" this month to a new life in the port of Dubai as a luxury hotel. She arrives there on Thanksgiving Day, November 27th. It is the end of an era, a trite expression, but really true in this case. A lot of companies can learn from her and from how she was run, particularly on the "hotel side."

I have had the privilege of sailing on her and I have no doubt we will never see her like again. 
Walk aboard and it felt as if one has entered a special world. It was NOT about luxury. In fact her decor is restrained. But it is the FEELING one got, largely due to a remarkable crew. There were people from dozens of countries who worked on board. To see the parade of crew carrying the flags of their countries through the dining rooms during the voyage is to feel more hopeful about the world.

Going on board felt like going home -- albeit an unusual home. It actually was homey as odd as that may sound. It is large, but cozy; full, but not crowded; busy, but not bustling in a tiresome way.
Why? First, the people on the pier were welcoming. Second ,the people who greeted one as one boarded were not just helpful, but enthusiastic. Third,
the attention to detail whether in the cabins or dining rooms, or public rooms or decks was not usual. Need something from a safety-pin to having your pets looked after, no problem. Need medical help, there was the best available 24/7. Fourth, the food which was delicious. And if someone had a special diet, no problem.
This was the best customer service one could ever encounter AND, the officers could teach multi-national companies a thing or two about running a company in a multi-cultural, multi-national global world. 
Yes, people were paid to help, but it is the way they did so that makes the experience so special. The people who hired them have an instinct that is unlike anything I have seen elsewhere with few exceptions. The officers and crew are exceptional!
There are other Cunard ships, the Queen Mary 2 and the Queen Victoria and there will be a new Queen Elizabeth in 2 years. . I am sure people do and will have wonderful  but the QE2, was unique, I have no doubt, having been on other ships. (I have not sailed on QM2 and QV). As someone wrote in a letter to the editor of The New York Times after she left New York for the last time, she has "soul."

Most of the passengers were REPEAT passengers. Many signed up for anther voyage BEFORE getting off the ship. How many businesses have similar experiences? In summing up, that is all that needs to be said about the experiences of being on board a great lady with a great crew.
I shall miss her and them.


Corporate Culture Marketing
Barr Consulting Services
& The Corporate Acculturation Management Practice
Phone: 212-765-6968

Corporate Culture Marketing
companies with leveraging the history
and heritage of a company, brand or
not-for-profit as a marketing or fundraising tool.
It specializes in leveraging anniversary
celebrations as a marketing or fundraising tool.
Services: Consulting; Research; Editing;
Writing: Curating; Creating Knowledge
Banks;  Conducting Oral History interviews; Assisting
companies with corporate culture clash after
a merger.


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