I couldn’t resist commenting since I am staying at a Holiday Express when I first get to South Africa for FIELD 2 in Cape Town… I chose it because of a) trust in the brand b) availability c) cancellability until a few days before the reservation and d) ratings. This seems very consistent with the value proposition that you identified early in your post. It was not the luxury travel experience I was hoping to find, but the luxury hotels in Cape Town were exorbitantly priced, required full payment upfront (limits flexibility) and occasionally lacked basic amenities without paying for them such as wi-fi. Especially as an international traveler, I need these amenities to be able to coordinate details and communicate with other travelers once I no longer have a phone and data plan. As you correctly noted, convenience is key.
Fascinating. What strikes me about this post is that it reflects certain business marketing themes that I would not have thought appropriate in a political context, but clearly they worked. This seems to be a data analytics model. The campaign was generating and collecting all types of data about voters and using it to hone its message to be increasingly effective. This raises something of a moral issue for me – if the Obama campaign can use data to run A/B tests on users (aka voters), what would stop any politician from doing the same? Are we voting on the candidate that best represents our views or does the campaign with the most money to spend on data analysis and technology end up being victorious every time? If we can tailor our messaging based on tests, what stops us from tailoring our message to individual voters so that there is ultimately no such thing as a single campaign promise, but rather a collection of promises that are most resonant to various voter subgroups, and what is the end result of such promises in action after an election?
I wonder if in your research you came across information on how certain operation decisions came to be such as the decision to bring dry cleaning in house. I imagine that these operational decisions came over time as the company looks to scale, improve efficiencies and control costs. Likely dry cleaning and other elements of this model were not in their current form originally. Since there has been a lot of management turnover and speculation on cultural issues within the firm, I would love to see an exploration of how culture has driven decisions and vice versa.