Trends Update

A good example of using technology to stay relevant after 100 years in business

What is the secret behind the success of Hilton? After 100 years in business and a $23.33 billion, the answer seems to lie in its ability to adapt.

Read on to find out how the Hilton brand has used hospitality technology and embraced the communication evolution to stay relevant and competitive.

The technology test

The hotel industry is largely split into two groups of thinking. There are those that are stuck in the past and shun most technological advancements in favour of traditional alternatives that are often dubbed as being more authentic. Then there are those who are always looking to adopt the latest tech and jump on the digital bandwagon without question.

Where Hilton has found success is right in the centre of these two ideals. The company’s approach involves keeping an open mind about new technologies but ensuring that they are worth the investment. The adoption process is built on three considerations:

1. Will the new technology improve the customer experience? 2. Will it streamline hotel operations and help staff? 3. Can it be rolled out globally to all properties to maintain consistency?

Ahead of the game

Hilton prides itself on being ahead of the game and this is another reason it’s been able to navigate increasingly busy waters. Chief Marketing Officer, Geraldine Calpin has previously revealed, “Innovation has always been the bedrock of our brand. For example, we were the first hotels with air conditioning and TVs in guest rooms.”

Over the decades, Hilton has stayed on the cutting edge of hospitality technology in order to deliver a unique customer experience. One such example is the development of its own brand mobile apps for both Android and iOS. The apps streamlined the booking process for customers around the world – perhaps nothing new today but, Hilton was amongst the first in the industry to take this approach.

Hotel Room

Harnessing technology for smarter customer experiences

Among the numerous examples of cutting-edge technology being integrated into Hilton’s business practises, there are a few key innovations which really stand out. The Digital Key feature, which can be found within the Hilton Honors app, allows members to use their mobile phone for everything from booking a room and check in, to unlocking the door and ordering room service.

Hilton has also begun deploying other popular technologies such as VR to provide virtual tours and apps such as Fun Finder which allows guests to find local attractions. Theses technological integrations are all examples of how Hilton has progressed ahead of the competition with the help of modern innovations.

Consumer engagement

A big part of Hilton’s marketing mantra revolves around the importance of customer feedback and consumer-generated content. “Consumer-generated content has become a main pillar for us on social media and it’s been highly successful in that we see a deeper level of engagement with this type of content” stated Calpin.

Having a simplistic and easily navigated online system that allows customers to actively engage and leave feedback has helped Hilton to increase its online presence, provide honest feedback to potential customers and engage more effectively with its guests.