Rise Performance Group

Are You Delivering on Your Brand Promise?


This past Thursday, I awoke to a chilly morning in Pittsburgh, PA.  I made my way blearily to the coffee pot but when I turned the faucet handle, no water came out.

When I checked in, I noticed a sign stating the water would be off in the hotel from 2:00 a.m. to 4:00 a.m., however it did not occur to me that I might not have water for coffee or a shower.  In fact, the water did not come back on until 9:30 a.m.!

I later learned the hotel was working on their main water valve.  When they turned the water back on, the valve ruptured creating further delay.

Upon checkout I was presented with my full bill.

“Are you going to do anything about the lack of water issue?” I asked politely.

“I will need to check with the manager,” the clerk responded.

Then I could not believe what she said next, “I have already processed the transaction, do you mind if I just leave it on the bill?”

Brand Promise

The implied promise of any hotel is a comfortable bed and a warm shower.  If the hotel does not deliver, what should be the ramifications?  Should the hotel proactively offer a refund, or should the customer have to ask?  Please share your comments below.

I do not believe the customer have to ask.  This failure to deliver on the core tenants of the brand promise should have triggered a proactive refund of the room rate to all that were impacted.

Let’s make some assumptions:

  • The General Manager is bonused on revenue and short-term profitability. The GM does not want to take the revenue hit.
  • The hotel has a brand promise about excellent customer service.

These two assumptions may cause competing – and conflicting – dilemmas.  Customer service versus meeting a short-term financial goal.


When a Brand Promise is not met, who should make the decision about the remedy?

Great organizations install processes that take human emotions out of these decisions.  Jim Collins calls these Catalytic Mechanisms.

Catalytic Mechanisms ensure you do what you promise and reduce the risk that your team trades the long-term benefits of delivering on your promise for the short-term benefits of a quick financial result. Catalytic Mechanisms deliver on this by transferring power from the company to the client.

Rise Performance Group has a short pay guarantee granting the client the authority to pay whatever they feel an engagement was worth.   There is no need to get manager approval.  Just pay what you feel is commensurate with the value received.

If the hotel had a process in place for this situation, the charge would never have appeared on my bill and manager approval would not have been needed.

Imagine the difference this would make in my post-stay opinion of this brand!

To learn more about Catalytic Mechanisms and how Rise Performance Group can help you scale through a differentiated strategy, please click here.

Leave a Comment