Bruce Himelstein is the Ritz-Carlton executive who transformed customer service for one of the world's most recognizable luxury brands, as featured prominently in the New York Times bestseller, The New Gold Standard.
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Disruption in Marketing

The following is a partial transcript of Bruce’s Speech on “Disruption in Marketing.”
Please check out his video below the transcript.

I was all set to say that I’m the only thing standing between you and a cocktail, but I’m going to take it back. You’re the first group I have talked to that are eating ice cream and I want to watch the transition from ice cream to cocktails!!

I looked at your agenda. You’ve really got some amazing topics… and then you have the hotel guy. I’m excited to talk to you because I think there’s a real strong intersection occurring between healthcare and service. Everywhere I go, we’re talking about it, and everyone is talking about service.

Sometimes it goes a little crazy. For instance, I flew in last night from a meeting. I won’t mention the airline but as we pulled up to the gate.

“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Miami International. We have a tight turnaround with this flight. So, we would appreciate if you would clean up the area around your seat, pick up the garbage.”

I’m thinking, “Wow. I wonder if we could have gotten away with that in the hotel business.” Can you imagine checking out, getting the key and the front desk person saying, “Did you make your bed?”

What I’m going to share with you as a key speaker has a couple messages. Disruption is going to be the focal point, and I’m going to share with you some of the disruption that has occurred in my career. Shana mentioned a few of the things that I’ve done, but the disruption really has now become category-wide.

I’m going to have some fun with it, if that’s okay. We’re going to pass along some serious messages to you, but I’m going to show you some pretty interesting examples of what I’m talking about and how healthcare really is in the center of this discussion right now.

Speaking of disruption, I’m sure you’re all familiar with Chanel.  I have three daughters. I can tell you, I’m very familiar with Chanel. How many people have ever seen Chanel on a basketball? Why did they do this? Why did Chanel put their logo on a basketball?  It got your attention.  Did they really do this to sell a lot of basketballs?  No, they didn’t.  Now, look, I grew up playing a lot of pick-up basketball. If I saw a guy show up bouncing a Chanel basketball, I’m pretty sure I could take him.

I’m bringing up examples, high level, iconic, global brand examples that you’re familiar with, where disruption occurred. And I picked these brands specifically they had the most to lose if they got it wrong.

Anybody familiar with Gucci?  Gucci created an iPod cover, a phone cover.  Gucci is a global, iconic, multi-generational brand that’s been around for a very long time and exudes luxury, and this is their number one selling item.  The decision was made within the walls of Gucci that they had to stay relevant. They also had to start changing the way they do things.

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