When competitors become friends

When competitors become friends

I had the pleasure of traveling to Waikiki and touring the newest property in the area, EDITION. It is a new brand that was “conceived by Ian Schrager in a partnership with Marriott International that creates an individualized lodging experience in a lifestyle property.” My contact was kind enough to drive me to the competitors’, and at each location she brought a box full of baked items for the sales staff. They were gracious in accepting the gift and provided an outstanding tour of their facilities. There seemed to be a connection with my contact at each hotel we visited, as either they worked together at one point, had joined forces to obtain a citywide group or simply networked on how to get more business for the islands.

During my trip to Hawaii I also visited Maui, where I experienced the complete opposite of the above story. A client was considering two locations on the island, and one hotel, instead of selling positively about their property, sold negatively about the other. The customer was so filled with the propaganda that it took a day of proving otherwise to bring them back onto a level playing ground. 

Do you play nicely with your competition? Has it helped or hurt you? I’m anxious to read your comments.