The other day, I was at a shop at Disney’s Hollywood Studios that sold Muppet memorabilia. The shop inside was themed to a run-down hotel one might find in the city. There were several humorous signs posted.
Prior to this visit, I was in a downtown hotel in a major city. The hotel was associated with a long-standing brand. When I checked into the room, I found a very strange sign as well.
Below are messages from five different signs. Can you guess which one belonged as part of the theming in the Muppet store, and which one of the five came from an actual hotel?:
A. Out to lunch! Be back when I feel like it.
B. Please steal linen. It’s cheaper than having it cleaned.
C. Check-out time is whenever you like. Patrons wishing to sneak out without paying will find it easier than they think.
D. If you are planning to use any hair coloring products during your stay with us, we ask that you kindly contact the Front desk and request a “BATH PAK”.
E. Guests with valuables are invited to store them in the house safe. Simply look behind the check-in desk. A large hole in the back of the safe will enable you to withdraw and replace your valuables at any time.
Scroll down when you think you’ve made your choice.
The answer is D. That was what was stated on a full-page sign, found laminated in the bathroom of my room next to the sink. Additionally, it outlined replacement costs for bath linens, and emphasized that you must not “use our regular bath linens for any purpose that might cause permanent stains.”
I don’t know how much of this goes on in hotel bathrooms. I don’t remember anyone I’ve known who has said that once they check into their hotel room, they’ve got to dye their hair. I can’t think this is common, as I haven’t seen this sign anywhere else. And I’ve stayed in a lot of hotel rooms. Apparently they have a run on people dying their hair at this hotel. But it seems strange that it would be more than anywhere else.
I’ve stayed in that city several times since, but never again at that hotel. Something about a card explaining hair dye policies and procedures tells me that I’m not aligned with their brand. I’m not sure who would be. I’m sure it’s costing that hotel a lot in irreplaceable linen when people dye their hair. But it’s costing them a whole lot more when they cheapen their image. It’s cute when it’s the Muppets take New York. It’s not cute when it’s my room after a long plane trip.
Ask yourself: What messages do you send, whether in writing or otherwise, that send the wrong message about the value of your brand?