BOCA RATON, FL—For Bruce Himelstein, hospitality is his lifeblood. His first job was a bellman and one of his proudest moments was receiving a recognition award from Marriott International’s Bill Marriott while his father looked on. He is also proud of efforts to “blow the dust off the lion and crown” at the Ritz-Carlton. It is these moments that help to shape a meaningful hospitality career of more than 30 years. You don’t have this kind of longevity without adding a few rules to the playbook. Now, as a speaker and consultant for the BJH Group, Himelstein details his experiences to other businesses and reveals strategies used at luxury hotels to transform brands from the inside out.
“I pinch myself every day that my experience and body of work resonates across industries. It’s very gratifying,” said Himelstein. “I think eye contact and listening skills are a lost art. Be better than anyone at this and your customers will remember you. Also, you’ve got to set the example. Surround yourself with people that commit and let them do their jobs.”
Senior living leaders share how they use direction from Ritz-Carlton’s service standards in their communities and why good customer service matters.
Argentum.org – Expanding Senior Living
By Debbie Reslock
February 24, 2017
“…You need to measure your customer service efforts so you know how you’re doing, Himelstein says. But after you reach your goals, make sure you’re keeping up.
Even Ritz-Carlton ended up needing what became known as the “Blow the Dust Off the Lion and Crown” campaign. The lion and crown logo had long represented the company’s formality, but it was no longer positioned to grab the next generation, according to Himelstein, who authored and implemented the program. So it was designed to be more contemporary, and the marketing approach was changed to be less stiff and a little more accessible instead of intimidating.
Himelstein also alerts senior living executives to be aware of industry disruption. “You need to always be asking what can happen next,” he says. “Like Uber and Airbnb, companies who created new platforms to fill unmet needs, something will disrupt the senior living industry. I don’t know what it is, but it’s coming…”
Bruce has been features and consulted on a current political matter in a recent Bloomberg Article:
“…Since entering the race last year, Trump has offended groups including Mexicans, Muslims, the disabled and veterans. A video from 2005 that showed him bragging about making lewd advances on women prompted almost a dozen to say he’d harassed them — claims that he strongly denies. Those associations will make corporate clients less likely to book Trump-branded properties, said Bruce Himelstein, a former chief marketing officer for Loews and Ritz-Carlton hotels.
“He’s now a polarizing figure. When he was putting his hotels together, he wasn’t,” said Himelstein, now a consultant. “There’s definitely an impact.”
Bruce was recently interviewed for the Luxury Institute published on September 6, 2016
“…This is definitely not a run-of-the-mill downturn. As an Italian luxury CEO recently told the Luxury Institute, “I was here in 2008, and we all knew that once the stock market and real estate values came back, so would luxury spending. This time with the stock market and real estate at record high levels, we still have a horrible downturn.” Another luxury multi-brand President, citing a top ten list of negative macroeconomic factors and, another top ten list of consumer habit shifts, stated that, combined, these factors represent the most perplexing period he has experienced in three decades. Just one grim example of reality: according to travel expert Bruce Himelstein, former CMO for The Ritz-Carlton, Loews Hotels, and Asset Manager for The Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman, a few of the largest hotel companies have their cut forecasts due to the continuing slowdown in global tourism. And there is no upturn in sight.”
Leading hospitality marketer Bruce J Himelstein is redefining the luxury hotel experience.
An Article By Beth Weitzman