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This morning in the car, I tuned into a radio morning show just as the hosts were getting into a lively debate about toilet paper. The topic was clearly discussion-worthy: a new trend of eco-conscious families replacing toilet paper with reusable/washable clothes.
CarRadioInsetDespite information being available in support of either trees or hygiene risks (depending on which side of the debate each host was on) emotions, not facts, fueled the conversation – as is very often the case when convenience vs. sustainability face off. The recent announcements that major hotel chains around the world, such as IHG® and Marriott®, were going to be transitioning hundreds of properties to amenity dispensers were met with a similarly emotional response. Doing away with the tiny bottles came as a shock to many. Mini keepsake single use units of shampoo have been a symbol of travel and the hotel experience for decades (you know, since Marietta invented them *wink*) and people are emotionally attached to them, but let’s take a closer look at this change and what you can expect when standing face-to-face with your first hotel amenity dispenser.

 

THE DISPENSER

Dispensers are a big change for hotels and guests alike. A quick Google on the topic quickly reveals very polarized camps on this issue. Those for dispensers are cheering for the environment and view any footprint reduction as a win. Dispenser skeptics usually site sanitization concerns and mourn the loss of the souvenir aspect of the individual use bottles.  In the interest of transparency, I’ll tell you that I have always looked forward to cute little hotel amenities that I can bring home, and there are many legitimate reasons why this 100% recyclable option will make more sense for many properties, but using a dispenser in a hotel personally provides me with a little bonus sense of accomplishment and I am a big supporter of any changes that any businesses are willing to make to help lessen the impact on our strained planet. When I stay at a hotel that has made the change, I associate them with progressive and mindful thinking and leadership. There are cost savings associated with this switch, yes, but they really aren’t significant enough to be the only driving factor. Research and surveys conducted at properties regarding new dispenser units have shown an overwhelming positive response from guests.

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Marietta has partnered with two of the leading dispenser companies – Aquamenities and ReadyCare (EcoEclipse system) – to help make this transition as smooth as possible for hotels and guests alike. Both programs blend sophistication and sustainability allowing properties a refined answer to this pressing hotel waste concern. For those concerned with cleanliness, the dispensers are locking, tamper-resistant and made from high grade stainless steel and durable mold-resistant plastic. The accompanying bottles are made from PET plastic, the most recyclable resin available. Aquamenities studies have shown that properties can expect an average of 40-60% reduction in cost and a 98% reduction in waste each year. They are stylish, environmentally-conscious, easy to install and there is no steep learning curve. I believe in the power of educational signage and would encourage properties to share the benefits and reasoning behind the dispenser somewhere in the guest room to get out ahead of any unfavorable perceptions by helping the guest feel like they are part of an important solution.

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THE PRODUCT

Beekman 1802, Aveda, Paul MitchellBABOR, Board & Batten, JR Watkins…there is certainly no sacrifice on product quality when making the jump to dispensers.

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These are brands, held in high esteem, that have industry-wide reputations for innovation, progressive thinking, and thoughtful product development and they are enthusiastically on board the dispenser train knowing that these are the steps we all must take going forward to ease our impact on our planet. NO changes have been made to our favorite products – still the formulations we have loved for years all made in the USA free of parabens, banned phthalates, petroleum, paraffin, diethanolamine, and minerals oils. Made with 100% pure water that meets USP (United States Pharmacopeia) 32 & control standards for purified water in our FDA compliant manufacturing facilities. They are now just easily dispensed right there in the shower and at the vanity counter.

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THE WHY

We have enough evidence available to know that humans must change their habits to preserve this one precious earth.​ Denial just isn’t a good look. These dispensers prove that saving resources can be beautiful and simple. Marietta is proud to be supporting countless properties in reaching their sustainability and financial goals with our top-of-the-line dispenser programs. We understand that this can be a big change for hotels, so we have carefully curated a high-quality offering of branded, sophisticated, tamper-resistant dispensers that will become a natural extension of hotels’ brands. IHG®, InterContinental Hotels Group upscale Kimpton brand has been using big bottle dispensers successfully for nearly two years already and is implementing dispenser programs in four additional brands this year alone. Marriott implemented dispenser programs in 535 properties (as of 8/1/18 and still growing) and currently estimates reduction of 110kg of plastic per year for a 140-room hotel.​​ That is a lot of plastic NOT bound for a landfill. Also, just a friendly reminder, we have all been using soap dispensers in public restrooms for decades without flinching. Conservation efforts require us to look closely at what we have been doing and actively seek out better ways of doing it going forward. We must re-think our single-use disposable habits and remember that what is convenient is not always best…especially for the environment.

I would love to hear about any of your personal experiences, positive or negative, with dispensers in hotels!

https://www.mariettahospitality.com/amenity_collections/dispensers.php

 

 

 


SOAPBOX™ BRAND VERY MUCH OUTSIDE THE BOX

Beauty is much, much more than skin deep at Soapbox, our newest personal care brand partner. Soapbox is built on a virtuous and sincere foundation and their safe, natural products are just the tip of their purposeful iceburg. So rare are companies that talk the talk and walk the walk, but walking seems like an understatement for Soapbox. They are RUNNING at all the right things and for all the right reasons. Delta Hotels by Marriott™ sent a clear message about their sustainability vision by partnering with Soapbox to create a one-of-a-kind amenity program.

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The exclusive amenity collection

Delta Hotels have been paying close attention to their guests’ evolving needs and have responded to increasing desires for transparency, memorable experiences and purpose by putting Soapbox amenities in each room. Guests can lather up confidently knowing their skin won’t be absorbing any harmful ingredients AND that a donation is being made in correlation. Soapbox created the unique label system “Hope Code,” SOAP = HOPE, which can be found on each and every product that bears their name. Their promise is straightforward: one retail product purchased equals one bar of soap donated and, through the power of the internet, you can see exactly where the “sister product” ended up. And in true Soapbox form, they wanted to apply this to their amenity program, as well. Every Soapbox Amenity Room Set equals one donation that you can trace through their website. This feature helps guests foster a connection with their cause, gives much desired transparency to philanthropic efforts, and leaves guests feeling confident in Delta Hotels, as well. This Soapbox + Delta Hotels partnership will donate 1.4 million bars of soap this year alone.
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Soapbox’s beautiful packaging design translates perfectly to an amenity collection and what is on the inside of the bottles and wrappers is as pretty as the packaging. Gentle formulations and subtle scents developed with care are made from natural ingredients and guaranteed free of EDTA, parabens, phthalates, petroleum, paraffin, diethanolamine, and mineral oils. Instead of all the aforementioned yuck, Soapbox amenities are formulated with argan oil which contains nutritive omega-9 and vitamin E which will promote healthier skin and hair.

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I was quickly hooked on their retail products. Both the Argan Oil line and Sea Minerals & Blue Iris line check all the boxes and then some. Ingredients are the most important aspect of any product I bring into my home, especially since I have little ones running around, so having Soapbox products in the shower and near the tub is a no-worries situation. The fragrances are spot on – uplifting without being overwhelming and I imagine have a wide appeal. My toddler was actually ASKING to wash his hands with the hand soap because he liked the smell so much. My hair and skin felt great after multiple applications. Finding products that work AND are safe always feels like such a win! I also headed on over to their website and typed in the Hope Code that was printed on the backside of the body wash label and learned that the correlating donation was through the HEEALS (Health Education Environment and Livelihood Society) in India that is working with public schools to bring hygiene items and training to areas effected by poor sanitation facilities. Better hygiene means healthier kiddos which means less school absences. And to think this is just one of many partners – what an impact!

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Middleman of empowerment

​While getting to know Soapbox and its impassioned creators, the term “empowerment middleman” entered my mind. This company is empowering underserved communities both in the US and around the globe while simultaneously empowering customers to make better choices by understanding the impact of their actions. This is huge. And as more and more individuals choose to make a difference by “voting with their wallets” Soapbox is a no-brainer. Over 3 million lives have been impacted by Soapbox soap purchases to date! In addition to the Hope Code initiative, they invest in hygiene education and fund sanitation efforts to provide tools for communities to improve overall health. But it is something that is missing from their approach that makes it all the more admirable: a savior complex. They have worked hard to develop a sustainable giving model that ensures the empowerment of people in these communities they serve by giving the gift of a long-term solution in the form of knowledge, tools, and resources.

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It seems to me that Soapbox is a beacon in the personal care industry shining a light to help guide others in the right direction. For even more inspiration and insight, take a minute to read the below Q&A I was able to have with David Simnick, CEO and Co-founder of Soapbox.

Q: Congratulations on the beautiful Delta Hotels amenity program! Are you prepared for a flood of new fans? We are so excited for the reach this partnership has because it will make a huge impact on the number of donations we’re able to do together! We can’t wait for travelers to experience our thoughtfully crafted line and to fall in love with our products and our mission that they make possible.

Q: What was the first spark for the Soapbox concept? What was your core strategy for putting together such a unique (and stellar) model? The idea of Soapbox was sparked while Dave, CEO & Co-founder of Soapbox, was working as a sub-contractor with U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). While the clean water initiatives were great, he saw a gap. Clean water was being provided but soap and hygiene lessons were not. Dave started Soapbox with his best friend in 2010, making the first batch of soap in his college kitchen.

Q: What are your “non-negotiables” when it comes to your brand? Non-negotiables has to be anything that compromises the soul of our brand, which is our mission and providing quality products to consumers. Soapbox’s foundation is the mission it serves and that’s done by providing fantastic hair and personal care items to consumers who then join us in donating soap and fund hygiene education to those in need. Parabens, EDTA, animal testing, animal products, gluten, petrochemicals, butylparaben, propylparaben and pthalates are also strictly excluded from our products. Anything that threatens the authenticity or quality is 100% no go’s for us.

Q: Tell me about your thought process behind the product line selection for the amenity program? Our Argan line is a top seller and the hand-crafted scent is one that is fresh, spa-like and gender neutral, making it a great kit for any man or woman staying at a Delta Hotel. Morrocan argan oil is also rich in vitamin E making it fantastic for hair and skin benefits so not only will guests feel pampered with their living arrangements, but also with their washing experience.

Q: Why was Marietta the best fit to help introduce your brand to the hospitality industry? The quality, experience and expertise that Marietta has to offer made the partnership an easy decision for us. Seeing as this was our first time going into the hospitality industry, and with our new thoughtfully crafted branding, we wanted to make sure we did it right and with a company that would best represent us. Also producing our products in the USA is something we want to continue to do as we grow into other outlets.

Q: It must be so exciting to think about all the new people who will experience your brand while traveling. What are the core values that Soapbox and Delta Hotels & Resorts share that made this a great match?
The ease and simplicity without sacrificing quality. Delta Hotels by Marriott provides an impeccable stay for its visitors with an array of amenities, that focuses on “the bare maximum”. Their hotels take out the complexities that other hotels focus on to stand out and rather hone-in on the details that matter and perfecting them.  Soapbox, like Delta Hotels, focuses on quality with simplicity by making it easy for consumers to be involved with a charitable brand without giving up the quality they look for in their personal and hair care. We deliver salon quality products without the salon price and offer an opportunity for consumers to be a part of an effort toward the greater good for others simply by purchasing an item that it already on their list to buy.

Q: Will you share one of your favorite aid stories (i know it will likely be hard to choose) That is a tough question. One that comes to mind is that of a woman named Madhuri that Erin Zaikis, founder of Sundara, shared with us. Madhuri currently holds the title of director of a Sundara soap workshop in Mumbai. Sundara is one of our amazing aid partners who sets up soap recycling workshops in the communities they serve. They give women employment opportunities and recycle soap that is then distributed and paired with hygiene education to those in the areas they work in.

Madhuri was a middle-aged, single woman without any traditional skill sets in search of employment to support her ill mother after the death of her father when she first joined the Sundara team. Being a single, uneducated woman from the slums of India was tough and she felt undesired, but Sundara saw so much potential in Madhuri.

“I can’t even remember the person I was before this job. This organization took a chance on me and I want to show them that it was a good choice. A job like this is a privilege. Working hard at it makes me feel good.”-Madhuri

She was offered the job and worked her way up from creating the bars of soap to managing book-keeping and training new hires. Her perseverance and determination are admirable. She’s learning new skills and has taught herself English. Most importantly she sees the value and impact she has made, and continues to make, on her local community.

“I used to think that I could only give back if I was rich, when I was older, if I had a husband…but now I know that even I can help my community in some small way. We all can do our part. I feel proud to be able to help.”-Madhuri

Stories like Madhuri’s inspire us and fuel the extra long work days that turn into work weekends. Our fans make our mission possible and our mission is making a life-changing impact on those we serve. It’s not just about soap. The impact is so much larger than that and Madhuri’s story is the perfect example of that.

Q: Message delivery around philanthropic endeavors can be tricky, any learnings you could share about how you tell your story? One word: authenticity. You must be authentic in the way you message a mission-driven company. Without authenticity, you have no credibility and no genuineness to your brand.

For more information about the brand visit soapboxsoaps.com

 

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“Aspects of Marietta Hospitality’s differentiators – Made in USA, Sustainability, Quality, and Reliability”

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Gone are the days of slick marketing tricks and gullible consumers. Today’s buyers are intelligent and they are pulling back the curtain on major brands by asking tough questions and demanding transparency. Today’s Consumers are more connected and informed than ever and because of it they are holding companies to higher standards. Smart brands are responding by getting real.

Here at Marietta, we know it’s not enough just to have pretty packaging and a good price point.  Modern consumers research their brands and want to know who they are, where they come from and what their values are. Most anyone can fabricate a slick brand image, but what does your company stand for?  So we asked ourselves:In a sea of seamless aesthetic styling, and plethora of personal care brands, how do we stand out? We believe the answer is telling the truth while continually perfecting and cultivating our process to remain authentic, thoughtful and compassionate to our consumers. So, how do we remain authentic?

We start at home.

From start to finish, we handle every step of the process at home in our USA facility. That includes everything from having the right brand partners, crafting fragrance/ formulation to lab testing for safety and quality. We strive to maintain our standard of excellence from a quality control perspective and by reducing our energy usage and resource expenditure.

“Marietta owns FDA regulated facilities that recognized brand partners are comfortable to support allowing us to provide our customers with the best brands in the industry.Having our manufacturing facilities in the USA allows us to provide the highest fill rate levels in the industry as we have control of the supply channel as well as provide our customers with quality products they can trust.”
– Melissa Giamichael, VP of Business Development

We remain dedicated to sustainability and our impact on the environment.

“Marietta is making its products more ethically and environmentally friendly. Initiatives like making their products free from animal testing and committing to never use “conflict minerals” or ingredients that are retrieved by destroying natural habitats are just few of the company’s implementations.”
– Adrian Buzea, Regulatory Affairs Associate

Read more on our green practices here https://mariettahospitality.blog/2017/04/20/3-small-ways-marietta-goes-green-for-big-impact/

With consistency and integrity, there is reliability.

By working with the largest selection of trusted brands and staying true to our values, we can assure our customers the quality and service they expect.

We recognize that authenticity is earned not by ‘what we say we are’ but what our customers say we are! And the word on the street is spot on!

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THE CHANGING FACE OF THE HOTEL GUEST  You can’t play a new game by the old rules. The much studied Millennial generation is changing the game. All the games, across all industries. And, considering that approximately 50% of the workforce will be Millennials by 2020 (Forbes) this is a crucial time for hotels to be watching, listening, researching, and willing to let go of how things were done in the past. And, don’t forget, that Gen Z – the ones younger than Millennials, are even more determined and savvy and, at roughly 25% of the population, are a larger tribe than Baby Boomers or Millennials. 

While looking to book a hotel room recently, I saw a beautiful promotion for Marriott’s “redesigned guest room.” Knowing that Marriott, and its other large franchise friends such as IHG and Wyndham Hotel Group, have been working hard for many years to shed any same-everywhere-cookie-cutter hotel image perception, I was excited to see what changes they made to boost their appeal for today’s guests. Let’s take a look at the changing desires of these hotel guests and how Marriott and other hotels are trying to keep pace. 

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SPECIAL AND UNIQUE  Today’s and tomorrow’s guests are seeking an individualized experience that is more focused on meaningful interactions and customized care, and less about the low price quick sell. This shift can be attributed to a number of things. To start, we now have access to endless streams of information and consumers are learning and evolving at a pace that is challenging to keep up with. What has worked in the past, does not work now. Marriott has recognized this shift claiming that the redesigned rooms are “Inspired by you” and are “More chic. More you.” You, you, you for the me, me, me generation! They demonstrate how they are now decorating the rooms with “real art”  and Pinterest-worthy “hardwood floors with accent rugs.” They are also installing bike racks in the closets of select hotels. Personal care amenity brands are very carefully selected, as they are essential to a cohesive brand offering and are often one of the more memorable guest room experiences. Marietta strives to always have a well-rounded amenity collection offering so each property can find the best way to make their guests feel special. The days of the mass-produced vibe are gone. Hotels also had no choice but to take note of what was drawing guests towards the customized experiences the sharing economy (i.e. AirBnb, HomeAway) could offer and take a long, hard look at their current models. AirBnb filled a large void in the travel industry allowing guests to break out of the hotel box. 

LUXURY REDESIGNED The shift in the definition of hotel luxury seems to be running in parallel to the resurgence in popularity of mid-century modern furniture and design. Perhaps this is because the same mantra can be shared: form follows function. Once, hotels could throw money at shiny things, bigger things, fancy things and call it luxury. What resonates now is not conspicuous opulence, but smart, purposeful design that meets actual needs. These new thoughtful, savvy guests can spot cut-and-paste design from a mile away and won’t even come close to falling for traditional marketing tactics. Consumers are seeking businesses with a true, clear identity rooted in integrity, transparency and creativity…and details matter. While exploring my hotel room I want to notice something and think “well, that’s clever” because it means someone paid attention and designed a product, service or process to meet a need that I possibly didn’t even know I had. We are now exposed to incredible design on a daily basis through various social media platforms and with many more examples to draw on outside of our personal first-hand experiences, guests are much more attune to the impact of thoughtful design and how they feel in a space.

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THE POWER OF OPTIONS These modern hotel guests seek comfort in the form of options and hotels now understand that they can’t be a one-size-fits-all offering. In the past, hotels could cater to a specific group and attract that specific group. But with 4.8 Million average number of guests each night – and growing (The American Hotel and Lodging Association 2015 Survey) hotels should be seeking a wide variety of guests by creating opportunities for them to have choices/options. Millennials are serious about crafting their identity and they want to feel confident in the brands they choose. This choose-your-own-adventure type model can best be seen in recent changes to hotel lobbies. With lots of research to back the design choices, hotels have been re-configuring lobby spaces to be optimal gathering spots for all types. The level of interaction people desire with others will vary from person to person and day to day, so spaces are designed to accommodate both socializing and a bit of isolation with a thoughtfully placed chair or table. Be together, be alone, be whatever, but be it comfortably in the smartest hotels. Marriott also boasts “multi-purpose surfaces” in the redesigned rooms allowing for the various ways people work, live and multi-task. 

CONNECTION, PURPOSE, WELLNESS These new purpose-driven generations of hotel guests are, more than any other generation, looking for ways to align their spending with their values. They are less likely to accept offerings at face-value and are eager to form a more meaningful connection to the “why” behind the brand or offering. They want to feel strongly about their choices and want to discover special things to share with others. The wellness trend that spans multiple generations and touches nearly every industry has conditioned people to seek a comfortable and stress-free experience. And while the Baby Boomers have adapted to the wellness trends, the Millennials are again the focus here as they are are more willing to spend money on special self-care – nearly twice as much as the Boomers. Personal Care Brands have a very unique opportunity to design amenity programs with these detail-focused hotel guests in mind. These guests are paying attention to product quality more than any other generation and Marietta’s licensed brands such as Aveda, Pantene, Paul Mitchell, Beekman 1802, Matrix Total Results, and JR Watkins are made in the USA from natural ingredients and certainly will meet the needs of these health-conscious consumers while becoming natural extensions of hotels’ brands. 

While we are comfort seeking creatures, we are also seeking joy and memory-making experiences. Hotels must continue to evolve from purely “lodging” to “lifestyle” brands with greater purpose by considering branded experiences that extend outside the hotel’s walls. Think, perhaps, a super-powered concierge that provides classes or food tours for starters. Hotels should seek out opportunities to host events, foster a sense of community, and bring all these connection-craving individuals together in their space so those individuals forever associate those warm and fuzzy feelings of kinship and belonging with that property. 

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HIGH TECH, BUT NOT TOO MUCH Over 60% of hotel research begins on a mobile device, but the process has to transition to a human eventually or the experience will feel too cold. Not enough tech and the property could feel like Little Hotel on the Prairie. Sophisticated, modern guests need a balance of tech and face-to-face offerings and experiences. And it must be understood that this equation can be different for the same person depending on if they are on a leisurely vacation or an important business trip. Or the offering needs to make sense for a local or a guest hailing from a different country. There is an opportunity here for hotels to provide guests with options for the level of interaction they are craving. Since tech is widely available now, service and humanity can be a true differentiator between two otherwise very similar hotels. 

THE ABANDONED MINI BAR As discussed, guests want to interact and explore. They want to connect over a drink and an appetizer in a hotel common area instead of sequestered away in their room eating a $14 bag of Cheese Nips out of the mini bar. OK, truthfully a part of me will always want to be in a hotel room by myself surrounded by snacks I don’t have to share with anyone, but if I am traveling for leisure the prospect of being able to seamlessly transition into a space designed to bring people together in a shared experience is very attractive. Large contiguous communal spaces with more natural light and well-sourced materials are the hotel version of the popular “great room” house feature people look for while home shopping on Zillow. Similar to working on your laptop in a coffee shop, people are seeking the “together alone” experience in communal gathering spots. Driven by social media, guests also want to want to document and share unique experiences. I suspect that interior designers are factoring “Instagram backdrop-ability” into design concepts these days. 

Catering to these rapidly evolving consumer wants and needs is no small task. Authenticity, creativity and a true purpose seem to be safe bets with these new breeds of hotel guests. Hotels should start there. 

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Guest Author, Nikola Cline, Founder of Brandettes

We all know that consumers love to try before they buy, which is why sampling is a vital component of any marketing plan. In the beauty industry, the most memorable experiences happen on a personal level, where customers can touch, smell and interact with the product. Most brands spend thousands, if not millions, on trial at the point of sale, whether it’s a gift with purchase or a beauty box subscription. Depending on the space you’re in, these methods are a solid part of the marketing mix, but it’s time to look beyond.

WHY AMENITIES?

If you’re wondering what an amenity program can do for your brand, consider this: Where can you sample a beauty product to a potential customer in the same room where they will actually use it? A hotel amenity program is one of the most compelling and forward-thinking sampling opportunities today, and it should be on every marketer’s radar.


Amenities are a key part of the hotel experience. They are, by definition, the identifiable and unique extras that hotels provide guests to maximize comfort. In personal care, it’s the tiny-sized products found on the bathroom vanity, in the shower, or sometimes even bedside. According to a 2016 study conducted by Deloitte*, travelers today are seeking brands that offer outstanding service individualized to their particular needs. Hotel amenities, in particular, are a great opportunity for both sampling and brand experience. Shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion and bar soap are no longer plain label commodities haphazardly strewn on the bathroom counter—they are high-powered brand partnerships, carefully crafted to elevate the guest experience. And, of course, they elevate the visibility and profitability of the brands involved.

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Amenity partnerships are lucrative for the beauty brand and the hotel partner alike. Over 40% of hotel guests surveyed say they have purchased a personal care product that they first tried during a hotel stay—and typically, they do so within 90 days. Even the most sophisticated sampling program would be hard-pressed to yield anything close to those results, let alone drive that kind of exposure 365 days a year.

If you’re considering an amenity program, or are just curious, here are 9 Key Points for creating a solid amenity program with standout results:

1) ASSESS – Look at your brand and assess which hospitality partners could be a good fit. Look for hotels that share your brand’s vision, mission, demographics and design aesthetic. Consider partners that offer enhancements for your already-established core audience, not a divergent consumer group. Hospitality programs are best used to complement your brand, not revamp it.

The Aveda® brand relationship with the Renaissance Hotels® is a great example of a strong synergy between brands. These brands share core values, with Aveda becoming a natural extension of the Renaissance Hotels® guest experience.

2) CALCULATE – Run the numbers and offer products in your brand that have healthy margins and wide appeal. Keep in mind, some hotel partners may have refined taste on a limited budget.

3) DIG IN – Amenity programs, like everything else, depend on successful execution. Before you reach out to hotel partners, it’s essential that you line up your operations support ahead of time. Experts will help alleviate the pains associated with trailblazing a new relationship of this scale.

4) PICK PACKAGING – Develop prototype packaging that complements your brand and products. Be mindful of cost, washroom merchandising and recyclability. Make it functional—a clear or translucent package is often preferred by hotels, so their housekeeping staff can determine if a bottle is new or needs to be replaced.

5) PRESENT – Create a short but powerful presentation that showcases the best your brand has to offer. Include the founder’s story, brand vision, demographics, top sellers, product awards, press, social media following and media.

 6) PROMOTE – Be of service and consider ways you can partner with the hotel brand to drive a memorable experience. Do this through custom promotions, special events, new product exclusives and social media partnerships that don’t just give love to the launch, but add value for the long term.

7) REACH OUT – Get help from the inside and look for ways to involve team members, from a variety of disciplines, on both sides. Often hotel brands have a task force of well-respected franchise owners or hotel managers that offer incredible guest insights. Take the opportunity to get feedback from this group on how to make the partnership work seamlessly.

8) TAP INTO SOCIAL MEDIA – Promote engagement opportunities at the launch of your program and ongoing. Social media takeovers and influencer marketing programs are excellent ways to amp up the exposure and generate excitement for all brands. The direct-to-consumer engagement can also be tracked and followed-up on much better than traditional advertising.

9) WORK FOR THE LONG HAUL – Be prepared for your amenity program acquisition phase to be a marathon, not a sprint. Multi-year, exclusive amenity programs for large global brands are now the norm. The more you can understand about a potential partner, and truly work with them across multiple channels, the more likely you are to win favor.


Embracing the right amenity program for your brand can dramatically increase your product’s reach, add meaningful revenue to the bottom line and increase trial. We all know that customers are more likely to purchase a product after trying a sample. With hotel amenities, you can expand your reach and place your brand in the right place at the right time for a future sale. What could be more hospitable than that?


nikola-cline-portraitNIKOLA CLINE (nikola@brandettes.com) is the award-winning founder of Brandettes, an LA-based agency that supports CPG brands with brand strategy, product innovation and strategic partnerships. Nikola secured the largest global amenity partnership active today, between Paul Mitchell and Marriott International, during her 10+ years leading marketing for John Paul Mitchell Systems.

http://brandettes.com

Footnote: *www2.​deloitte.​com

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Thinking about this statement by Kipling, the endless fragrance styles, and personal care brands throughout the world, lead me to do a little digging into this subject.  My thought path — So here’s a challenging task: create a fragrance that is relevant, appeals to a wide audience on the olfactory level while also resonating emotionally. Additionally, make sure it is memorable and cool. Where to even begin!? Marietta’s product development and design teams get to work with some of the best fragrance houses and brands in the biz. So, with special thanks to the help of some experts: Julie Movsessian, Marketing Director at Sozio, Inc., and Michelle Harper, VP of Scent Design at Arylessence, Inc. I took a look back at what 2017 smelled like… and glimpsed at what’s in store for 2018.

A few category boxes were filled:

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Gender Benders — When exploring and forecasting fragrance trends, market experts look far beyond the perfume and personal care industry. Determining a trend requires a wide lens capable of examining fashion, home goods, decor, food, travel, social media, pop culture, political and social movements, etc. Social and current events coupled with the power of social media played a hand in the reemergence of the gender-neutral fragrance trend that exploded in the 1990s. Julie Movsessian, Marketing Director at Sozio, Inc., explains that “there is no more gender in the fragrance industry. The fragrances being sold can be used by women and men.”  Calvin Klein’s new for 2017 fragrance “All” is a perfect example of a gender-fluid scent that blurs the lines between masculine and feminine with crisp mandarin and citrus notes layered over warm amber and rhubarb. And of course, Marietta’s amenity collections are very much gender-neutral.

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Earthy — Pantone’s increasingly influential color of the year finds its way into many industries with fragrance being no exception. This year’s color, Greenery, visually supports thoughts of the environment, growth, and nature while also evoking feelings of harmony and balance. Consumers are, more than ever, seeking home goods made of wood, stone and other organic materials and are encouraged to seek adventure, head into the woods, or disconnect for a “digital detox.” Essential oils harvested from the source and authentic natural ingredients are now expected by consumers with bonus points dolled out for vegan, organic, and eco-friendly. Unlike other earthy fragrance trends of the past which tend to be heavier, 2017 saw pairings with citrus and spice notes to lighten them up a bit. Michelle Harper, VP of Scent Design at Arylessence, Inc. called out a specific earthy trend: “You can’t talk about fragrance trends and not mention Oud. It’s everywhere and consumers purchasing prestige as well as mass market products are loving it! Oud, with its oriental, woody, ambery and incense-like aspects offers sophistication, warmth and sensuality while delivering a natural, earthiness that appeals to a wide range of demographics from boomers to millennials.” Amenity collections like Aveda Rosemary Mint and Beekman 1802 Dispensary are excellent examples of this style.

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Pure: Health & Wellness — No matter what side of the fence you were on, 2016 was an emotionally draining 365-day stretch. Besides the political drama, there was actually a brief period of 2016 when knife-wielding clowns were chasing people into the woods. It wasn’t our best year. Entering 2017 was viewed by many as an opportunity for a fresh start with an optimistic attitude and a sense of brightness in the air. Fragrance-related internet searches this year often include the word “fresh.” Millennials seek fragrances as transparent as the lives they lead on social media. Michelle Harper describes how millennials “are focused on authenticity of the product. They want answers to some key questions – What is true about this product? Is it really worth the money? If so, why? What’s the fragrance story? Does the product actually work? What, if anything, does the product or the manufacturer behind it stand for?” The answers to these questions align with the desire for transparency and well-being that seeped into many product categories with consumers seeking less processed foods, locally made goods, and an overall focus now just as much on what is NOT in a product as what is in it. In the fragrance world, this translated into scents that capture that ever-desirable feeling of being clean and pure. These fragrances trended towards light, yet still complex, with many watery florals with perhaps some refreshing mint, cucumber or lime notes.

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Colorful, Unexpected & Unique — This sophisticated trend took many cues from the culinary and travel worlds. Many unexpected blends of exotic botanicals, fruits, spices and florals. This trend mirrored what we’re seeing pop up in the natural sections of grocery stores and on trendy restaurant menus…beverages with unlikely pairings with lavender, rose water and hibiscus, tart and tangy flavors (kombucha!), anti-oxidant rich Madagascan peppercorns, unique and complex craft beer and coffee offerings. Ingredients known for their health benefits are even finding their way into mainstream drug store personal care brands with labels boasting the addition of coconut milk, argon oil, rice milk and a variety of herbs. 2017 has also seen much celebration of individuality and an increased desire among millennials and GenX to identify personally with their purchases. Julie Movsessian perfectly summed up the millennial strategy: “Propose new experiences, be innovative but stay authentic.”

….And what will 2018 smell like?

AckermanQuote“2018 and beyond will see an increased ability to express individuality across all product forms.  In terms of odor profiles, woody, fougere, oriental and floriental fragrance types will continue to gain momentum and the Chypre will regain popularity. Gender lines will be nearly non-existent. Unisex, androgynous scents will dominate.” explained Michelle of her forecast. Julie called out a continued “focus on ingredients” with scents remaining “clean, fresh and bright.”  Marietta is continually forward thinking working with the industry’s best strategic partners to ensure the amenity collections offered resonate with consumers. Exciting times ahead!

Marietta’s Amenity Collection Portfolio covers the range of fragrance options herbal, floral, citrus, apple, vanilla, spice, marine, etc.

 

 

B1802_BlogVisualTo say that Beekman 1802 is a dynamic brand would be the understatement of the year. When I first received samples of Beekman’s products I knew little to nothing about their history. After spending a few minutes perusing their website, I quickly gathered the basics of their story: Two guys who left NYC to try their hand at working a 210-year-old estate farm. An interesting twist that intrigued me. Fast-forward a few hours through me drooling over their online recipes, watching their baby goat cam, exploring the garden blog, reading various interviews while restraining myself from buying everything in their online store, and cut to me crying at a YouTube video of Beekman’s founders Josh and Brent talking to an audience about the 10 things their goats have taught them about life. (Trust me, it was very moving.) After disappearing into my rabbit hole of research, I learned what makes Beekman 1802 so special: Their founders, Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell.

The kindness, compassion, humor and understanding they display about their journey is both inspiring and contagious. They truly live and breathe their brand story.

Josh and Brent seem to have a better grip on their strengths and weaknesses than most of us will have in a lifetime. They understand that building something worthwhile doesn’t mean doing everything themselves, but by finding people who fill in the gaps of what they ​can’t​ do. Their keen sense of self-awareness allows them to focus on where they shine and when to ask for help. For example, after waking up at 4am trying to milk their goats in the early phase of their farming careers, they realized that maybe they should leave that to their friend Farmer John and focus on their strengths – marketing, branding and curating. This led them to begin working with local artisans in Sharon Springs, NY which had a tremendously positive ripple effect on the town, as it employed and supported many local artists and makers in their community. They do, however, still maintain their garden and pick their own vegetables – all while running one of the fastest growing lifestyle brands in the country. While I could go on and on about Beekman’s inviting and eclectic empire, I should probably touch on their incredible new line of Hotel Guest Amenities! The Beekman 1802 Dispensary Collection.

B1802_BlogStripWhen I opened my box of samples, (one of my favorite days of the month), I immediately got a sense of who they were from the timeless slate gray label and apothecary style bottle. The design and aesthetic, with a collaborative assist from creative artist, Christian Watson, of www.1924.us, ​the inspiration stems from the original Beekman Mercantile and 19th century ‘elixir’ merchants.
The honey infused formulations have a clean, fresh scent composed of black peppercorn, cardamom and clove.​ It was no surprise that I was not disappointed when I put them to the test. Oftentimes at hotels I find myself with shampoo that doesn’t clarify, conditioner that doesn’t condition, and lotion that doesn’t moisturize for more than 5 minutes.
The Beekman 1802 Dispensary Collection truly exceeded my expectations. It clarified, but did not strip my hair. The conditioner moisturized deeply but didn’t make my hair heavy or oily. I didn’t need more than a dime size of the body wash to achieve a rich lather. The bar soap was silky-soft and left me feeling clean without drying out my skin. Would you believe that the lotion ​actually​ moisturizes for the whole day? Perk: It made my bathroom smell ​really​ nice. While their products certainly speak for themselves, I think the whole experience is enriched knowing where Beekman 1802 comes from.

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Brent Ridge of Beekman 1802 was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to talk to me about his day-to-day, how he stays inspired, and why community is so important.

Q: I think we are all a little curious when you find time for sleep! For those who haven’t seen your show, could you help us envision a day in the life of the Fabulous Beekman Boys​?

Brent: Well—we do keep farmers’ hours.  We are early to bed and early to rise. Our day to day activities vary so much based on the seasons. In the Spring and Summer the work on the farm is intense—beginning in March when the kidding season for the goats begins all the way until the last vegetable is harvested in September. In the Autumn and Winter is when we put all of that inspiration into product design, writing and creating.

Q: With such a diverse line of products, how do you continue to stay inspired and generate new ideas?

Brent: The farm is really a source of infinite inspiration.  Our love of nature, science (Dr. Brent), history (Josh) and all things beautiful generates far more ideas than we can ever actually produce.

Q: I loved your video,  “10 Things We Learned About Life From Our Goats”. It was incredibly sweet, funny and insightful. Goat lessons aside, what would you say has been the greatest lesson you have learned, personal or professional, since the start of Beekman 1802?

Brent: Community is the most valuable asset you can ever invest in.  Whether it is the community that physically surrounds you or a virtual one that you create in the digital world, nourishing those relationships, supporting one another, and helping everyone succeed is the surest route to success.

Q: Why did you feel that Marietta would be the best fit to introduce Beekman 1802 to the hospitality industry?

Brent: Beekman 1802 is based in upstate NY and prides itself as being one of the only major beauty and skincare brands that produces entirely in the United States. It was only natural that we would work with Marietta whose production facility is just a short drive from our own front door. We find something very troubling about the fact that so many companies produce their amenity programs overseas, often hiding behind an iconic American brand. As the fastest growing lifestyle brand in America we certainly believe in the power and importance of global sourcing, but we also believe that we should bend over backwards to support American manufacturing when there is a competitive option available.

Q: With so many options to choose from, what inspired the scents and ingredients behind the Beekman 1802 Dispensary Collection?

Brent: In the late 18th and early 19th century, William Beekman was one of the most successful mercantilists in upstate NY. When we started concepting the Dispensary line we started with a set of ingredients that would have been readily available on the shelves of Beekman’s original apothecary. In a society where the attention span is measured in seconds, by looking back at history we think we’ve created something truly exceptional.

Q: What do you hope travelers take away from their Beekman 1802 Dispensary Collection experience?

Brent: We hope that Dispensary —whether it is the scent, its feel on the skin, or even its quirky label design- stops the guest in their tracks and pulls them away from all the other distractions in their lives and the things on their minds and into the present minute—if only for the time it takes them to take a shower.

We also hope to engage all of the travelers who happen upon the Dispensary line to engage with us on social media and “Dispense” their sound travel advice. We plan to create a Dispensary Travel Guide crowd-sourced by every road warrior out there.

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B1802_dispensary_PrgmKnowing Beekman 1802’s Dispensary Collection will be available in hotels should make travelers feel at ease the next time they forget to pack their own products. In fact, they may want to forget them on purpose. We at Marietta couldn’t be happier to join forces with Beekman 1802 to share their story, mission and products with the rest of the world.

I highly recommend signing up for their newsletter at ​www.beekman1802.com​. I promise it will only add joy to your inbox.

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A Pure and Fresh Addition to the Hospitality Landscape

BB_blogvisualWhile many of us are now well-versed in diet and nutrition and the impacts of what we put IN our bodies, it is still so very common to overlook the impact of what we are putting ON our bodies. I once came across a statistic that the average person encounters over 100 chemicals every morning before even leaving the house while showering and doing their morning beauty and hair styling routines. That is a heavy toxic load for our bodies to process. As you learned on Earth Day, Marietta believes that being green is a never-ending effort and we are always looking for ways to nurture our planet and those that use our products. With these philosophies in mind, we are so proud to have joined forces with Patricia Walker, the founder of the exquisite Board and Batten brand, to create an amenity program that is gentle on body, mind, and Earth. I consider the Board and Batten Inspired Bath collection to be less of an “option” for hotels and more of a conscious “offering” to hotel guests. With this single choice, hotels can send a strong and meaningful message to its guests that they are looking out for their health and wellness while under their roof.  It is so encouraging and downright wonderful to see such thoughtful collections entering the hotel space.

The Board and Batten brand was born on a beautiful farm in Florida. With horses grazing in green pastures, rows of citrus groves and a cypress-lined lake, creator Patricia did not have to look far for inspiration. Disappointed with existing products in the marketplace, Patricia’s desire to create truly balanced and pure products blossomed into a passion for her and her family. She has hand-picked and studied every ingredient to ensure the simple, yet effective care our skin and hair deserve.

The Board and Batten amenity collection packaging is clean and simple with a nod to traditional apothecary style bottles that conjure up notions of a bygone era’s pure and simple treatments. The bottles, cartons and wrappers are 100% recyclable ensuring a low impact to Mother Nature. The timeless branding is an accurate extension of the back-to-basics formulations contained within the stylish packaging. The fragrances are subtle and fresh with herbal, citrus and woody notes all transporting the user straight to Patricia’s serene farm.

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I had the opportunity to talk with Patricia and was so inspired by her dedication and passion. I learned that she is a also a Certified Aromatherapist and currently working towards a certificate in plant based nutrition. When I hung up the phone, I felt healthier just having talked with her. Your skin and hair are safe in her hands and you can trust she will be continually be creating and working towards bringing us the very best.

In Her Own Words:

Q: Describe for me a day in the life on the farm for you and your family
Patricia: I spend most of my mornings outside, feeding and riding our horses, then some sort of exercise like biking, running, or paddle boarding. During the heat of the day, Board and Batten and our Tree Farm becomes my focus; fulfilling orders, putting together social media campaigns, payroll, or, my favorite, creating a batch of new products.

Q: Tell me about your first-hand interactions with those who love your brand. What do they say? How does it resonate?
Patricia: We recently started selling our products as a seasonal vendor at our local farmer’s market. I love the opportunity it gives us to chat and get to know our customers. The best is when I see a someone come to our booth and immediately read the ingredients listed on the back label. It is so great to see more and more people paying attention to what they are putting on their skin.
Feedback from happy customers is what makes my work so fulfilling. Often people write to me about their problem skin and how our line has alleviated dryness, acne and even rosacea. Others tell me how once they started using our products, they have been receiving compliments on how great their skin looks. Stories like these keep me creating and researching to keep my customers happy and our line fresh.

Q: How are your values reflected in your brand?

Patricia: Growing up, I was taught the value of truthfulness, resourcefulness, and living a balanced life. Once we moved onto our farm, I noticed how small daily rituals can have big impacts on our lives. These values are all reflected in our brand.

Q:  What were your thoughts behind creating the unique fragrance profile for the Inspired Bath amenity collection?
Patricia: When creating the fragrance for the Marietta amenity collection we had the hotel traveler in mind. I wanted it to be enjoyed by men and women alike and bring about a soothing association with their hotel stay. Because we are based on an orange grove, we chose to use uplifting citrus combined with rich floral notes to bring calmness throughout the day.

Q: Why was Marietta the best fit to introduce your brand to the hospitality industry?
Patricia: We are so excited to have our line partnered with Marietta. Everyone we have met and spoken with has made us feel welcomed and part of their extended family. I knew it was a perfect fit when I learned that their company started in a rural area of New York and that manufacturing takes place in the USA.

Q: It must be so exciting to think about all the new people who will experience your brand while traveling. What do you hope their main take-away is?
Patricia: Well, first of all, it is important to me that they enjoy the experience. I hope they like the simple elegance of our packaging, it’s unique fragrance, as well as the way it feels on their skin. People who are traveling can feel rushed, jet-lagged, and frankly, just one of the masses. My hope is that they know that our line was thoughtfully curated at our farm specifically for them to enjoy a time of soothing relaxation.

Q: Aside from your business, what are you passionate about?
Patricia: I enjoy so many things in life, traveling, the outdoors, reading, but what I love the most is spending time with my family. I have 4 amazing children and a supportive husband who keep me inspired and striving to do my best in everything I do.
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3 SMALL WAYS MARIETTA GOES “GREEN” FOR BIG IMPACT

Earth Day is upon us! Although we like to think we are earth-friendly all year round, April 22nd serves as a reminder for us to take a look at the ways in which we are being kind to our planet. As a manufacturer, it is essential that we consider the economic, environmental, and social impact of our decisions.

So, where do we start?

1 – We Make our Products at Home.

Making our products in the USA, whenever possible, means we use less energy and resources to get our products from one place to another – which simply means less pollution!

For example: A recent Zerofootprint™ study Marietta participated in to evaluate Marine Freight from overseas shipping* showed product’s annual emissions of 6,452 tonnes of CO2e are equivalent to:

  • Emissions saved by taking 1,242 average-sized cars off the road in the USA
  • The carbon sequestered by growing 165,436 seedlings to 10 years of maturity
  • Burning 15,005 barrels of oil
  • Saving $1,058,499 on an average US electricity bill

*Zerofootprint™ Greenhouse Gas Protocol – Corporate Standard.

Marietta’s sustainable manufacturing practices include:

  • Reducing utility usage (electricity, water, natural gas)
  • Reducing, reusing, and recycling operational waste and components
  • Partnering with vendors, community organizations and companies to optimize environmental sustainability and recycling impact
  • Offering customers innovative sustainable packaging solutions for the personal care industry

2 – Earth-Friendly Packaging

Marietta offers a wide variety of packaging options, including packaging designs that reduce waste and protect the environment. We do this by:

  • Using light-weighted bottle designs (this can reduce plastic usage by up to 360,000 pounds annually!)
  • Using 100% recyclable, environmentally friendly plastics; instead of PVC plastic, which contains harmful dioxins
  • Using 100% recyclable cartons and wrappers
  • Using Post Consumer Recycled Paper where applicable
  • Using soy/vegetable based printing inks whenever possible

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3 – Seeing “Green”

Did you know that Marietta offers the Hospitality Industry’s largest selection of green amenities available? We make a conscious effort to align ourselves with companies whose vision and values are similar to our own such as:  Aveda®, Beekman 1802®, Board and Batten®, Malie®, Paul Mitchell®, PAYA® and ProTerra®.

PRODUCT ATTRIBUTE EXAMPLES INCLUDING:

  • Offering the options of Gallons and Dispensers
  • Biodegradable liquids and bar soaps
  • Products made with natural ingredients and no harmful, harsh chemicals
  • 100% vegetable base bar soap
  • Envir-ooo® Light-Weighted Extruded Bar Soap* designed to reduce waste, carbon footprint, and to protect that natural world from which it is derived. Our three channel cavity Bar Soap enables us to retain a larger dimension, improve functionality, and impact a more positive guest experience.

* Patent Pending. All Rights Reserved.

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By fostering relationships with like-minded companies, we are happy to be developing earth-friendly practices not just for our generation, but for the generations that will follow.

Each year we look forward to leading by example and finding new and innovative ways to make Marietta a leader in sustainability. Tread Lighter.

© 2017 Marietta Hospitality. Other Brands shown are registered trademarks of their respective companies. All Rights Reserved.


The story of Marietta Hospitality is an inspiring and colorful one.

If you enjoy personal care and beauty products, traveling, hotels, or are intrigued by tales of innovation and creativity…we have got something for you.

Wandering the production floor at Marietta, you weave through a maze of awesome machinery precisely filling cute little bottles with various kinds of scented product we will affectionately refer to as goop. The bottles ride a mini roller coaster and eventually are topped with a cap and dressed in a sharp looking label before sliding swiftly into a box. It feels like you are watching an episode of How It’s Made – equal parts satisfying and mesmerizing.

Also, depending on your age, it may conjure up either Rube Goldberg cartoons or Pee-Wee Herman’s breakfast machine.

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Instant photoWhile observing, it is easy to forget that this very impressive landscape of manufacturing prowess has very humble roots in a single innovative idea from one creative fella. The fella was Manny Siegle and legend has it he adventured to Europe in the 1970s in search of an apparatus that could be used to package sauerkraut in little foil packages known as sachettes. His intention was to sell these to stadiums. While traveling around attempting to sell his break-through cabbage idea, he stayed in many hotels. Then, the moment every entrepreneur waits for…the ah-ha! During one of his many hotel stays, he realized his sachettes were much better suited for shampoo and lotion. With this idea, Manny started Marietta and is responsible for launching the hotel guest amenities industry in the United States – an American original.

BlogInset3True to these roots, Marietta’s made in USA products to this day are manufactured in FDA registered facilities of unsurpassed quality. Knowing that our skin is our largest organ and that it pretty much absorbs everything we put on it, it is comforting (and rarer than you would suspect) to know that the goop you are lathering up with has the home field advantage of quality and safety.

Fresh out of college, being a part of Marietta’s expert marketing and design teams was an incredible opportunity for me. Growth opportunities, hands-on learning experiences galore, and the best product sampling tasks ever. I am so excited to be back in the Marietta world to share information, experiences, thought bubbles and happenings with you from the dynamic and fast-paced crossroads of travel and beauty.