At first glance, looking at the brand portfolio of Marriott International, the Ritz-Carlton may appear a thing apart. And as the sina qua non of luxury hospitality, in many ways, it is. Look closer, however, and you find the tie that binds: an authentic commitment to truly excellent service. But that common bond was getting lost in a multitude of messages and mixed vocabulary. The Ritz Carlton needed to find a way to articulate both its shared and unique employer brand values—and to do so in terms that would resonate with its Ladies and Gentlemen around the globe. So they contracted with Evviva Brands to do just that.
To assess the Ritz Carlton’s shared and unique brand strengths and differentiators, Evviva designed and conducted a series of insight investigations at locations across North America, Europe, North Africa and Asia. Using a mixture of techniques, we captured insight from a multitude of perspectives, from upper level executives to housekeepers, inside out, and outside in.
Evviva found strong equities to build on –and some barriers to break down – through messaging, resulting in a comprehensive messaging strategy for the Ritz Carlton’s employer brand recruitment and retention efforts—and for individuating The Ritz Carlton within the Marriott family of brands, while still celebrating it as a fully-fledged member.
We learned, for example, that what set apart the most impressive staff members–or Ladies and Gentlemen, as the brand calls them–were an obsessive attention to detail and the understanding that great service elevated both host and guest. Whether it was noticing a single hair on a carpet, a poorly-folded washcloth or a box of tissue at the wrong angle, the best Ladies and Gentlemen understood that it wasn’t the environment, but the obvious attention to the environment, that let guests fully relax. And along the way they learned that great service was both a gift and a dialogue, that at their best, they were a conduit between the aspirations of brand and guest.
From this positioning, Evviva built an emotionally resonant creative concept. We scouted and creative directed a photo shoot at a Ritz-Carlton property to support brand expression. And we developed a comprehensive asset guide for The Ritz-Carlton’s use in global attraction.