Few things make as immediate an impression, for good or ill, as a hotelier’s mobile app. And, despite all efforts to the contrary, in lieu of every physical example of attentiveness and personalized service, including the decorative, fan-shaped napkins and the obligatory bow and curtsey from every employee who steps aside to greet you – all of this is irrelevant if the first thing a potential guests sees (and uses) is an app that undermines the very image a brand seeks to convey.
If, for example, the Four Seasons (which has multiple apps for its most famed locales throughout Hawaii and Beverly Hills, California) or the Ritz-Carlton Hotels & Resorts, has a so-called “leaky app,” then that luxury brand risks alienating its longtime supporters and erasing its acclaim among critics.
For, an app is both an icon – the logo for the Four Season is unmistakable, an elegant black-on-white design of a tree whose branches symbolize winter, spring, summer and fall – and tool for practical use. It is a gateway for information, alerts, promotions and exclusive incentives for longtime patrons.