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Where the competition isn’t

Where the competition isn?t

Like many of us, I am an entrepreneur at heart and love differentiation as well as the pursuit of “what’s next.” It’s a passion acquired while living in Las Vegas, hitting a small yellow ball for a living during a highly competitive era and change. 

Blessed with fairly decent tennis skills (enough to earn an athletic scholarship), to get to the next level of my sport, I needed the necessary evil of unique marketing to attract endorsements. Having Bill Cosby as my doubles partner, I learned quickly how to mask some of my on-court weaknesses by wearing or adopting something not routine to the tennis culture but possibly rattle a few execs who had product — or a small donation — if I were to play with their products. 

After donning Air Jordans versus traditional tennis sneakers, adopting professional satin boxer shorts for training attire, adding eyebrow-raising catch-phrases to my warmups and bedazzling my knee brace, all of a sudden I was gifted and endorsed by several of the most generous sponsors in sports. The evolution of uniqueness and adopting a non-mainstream and unexpected persona graced me with a little more than what I started out with. 

Fast-forward through a career of brand licensing, international buying and purchasing, export-import, sales, marketing, product design and development, and I have adopted the mindset of one who believes trend-watching isn’t about futurism. I’ll leave the crystal-ball predicting to the planning departments while I opt to share and showcase some unique examples of what’s already happening at the minor-league level —before hitting the mainstream peaks — outside our industry. 

Distinguishing fads and understanding not all trends are for all people, I look forward to sharing fresh ideas that are potentially adoptable for hotels. Whether it be a new culinary concept, a potential guestroom product, a brand icon or a rapidly changing consumer behavior, need, desire, want or value, I look forward to unlocking some breakthrough possibilities via my love of spotting the new. 

You don’t have to like every trend. Remember, we’re all in this for guests, as they have different needs and desires than we do. So if you promise to not dismiss anything too quickly, I’ll return the promise by engaging you into what could be — a.k.a., a new possibility — on a weekly basis. 

Until next time, I’ll leave you with something to ponder: If you’re obsessed with what your competition is doing, you’ll end up copying them. Look where your competition is not!

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