It’s Not Just a Cookie Doubletree, It’s a WARM Welcome and Stunning First Impression


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Doubletree Chocolate Chip Cookie

I recently had the chance to stay at the Doubletree in Richmond. It was part of a family vacation to Virginia (Related Post: Colonial Williamsburg Stays With You, Even on Twitter). I’m a big fan of the hotel because of the Doubletree chocolate chip cookie. It epitomizes the signature extra and the idea of being remark-able.

I can distinctly remember my first stay at a Doubletree like it was yesterday. It was April 1996 in Atlanta, GA when the love affair began.

WELL_Speaking1-190x111As much as I love the cookie, I pale in comparison to Jeff Hayzlett. The best-selling author of Running the Gauntlet and former CMO of Kodak loves them so much, Jeff thinks of the Doubletree cookie when he stays at other hotels.

Doubletree’s motto is “The Little Things Mean Everything.” A recent commercial highlighted the cookie as one of “the little things our hotel team members do every day to create a rewarding experience for our hotel guests.

The Origin

The Doubletree cookie recently celebrated its 25th anniversary.  In the 1980?s, most hotels offered treats like chocolate chip cookies to VIP customers. Doubletree believes that every customer is a VIP and thus started handing them out to every customer in 1987. Fast forward to 2013, Doubletree by Hilton gives away roughly 60,000 per day across the world. Since starting the program, they’ve given away a quarter of a billion cookies. For you Austin Powers fans, that’s billion with a capital B.

Doubletree cookieWhy a Cookie?

Doubletree offers an explanation right on the brown paper bag the cookie comes in. “Why a cookie?” the headline asks. “Cookies are warm, personal and inviting, much like our hotels and the staff here that serves you.” Warm is the key here and a signature feature of the Doubletree cookie.

Goldfish Rule Takeaway:  You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Some may argue that a mere chocolate chip cookie is empty and meaningless gesture.  It’s not meaningless, especially when that little extra is a signature first impression.  I subscribe to the philosophy that Malcolm Gladwell offered in The Tipping Point, “The little things can make the biggest difference.”  Doubletree understands the chocolate chip cookie is not just a cookie, it’s a warm welcome and a stunning first impression.

Today’s Lagniappe (a little something extra thrown in for good measure) – The wrapper for the cookie above contains the following, “Stressed spelled backwards is Desserts.” This is an example of a palindrome. A word or a series of words that can be spelled the same forward and backwards, i.e. Bob. My three personal favorites,

  1. A Man, A Plan, A Canal, Panama
  2. Decaf I lived on, no devil I faced
  3. Stressed, no tips… spit on desserts

Want more examples? Leave it to Weird Al to parody a Dylan classic called “Bob” entirely with palindromes. FYI: Don’t try to read “Harmonica Solo” backwards:

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Stan Phelps
Stan Phelps is the Chief Measurement Officer at 9 INCH marketing. 9 INCH helps organizations develop custom solutions around both customer and employee experience. Stan believes the 'longest and hardest nine inches' in marketing is the distance between the brain and the heart of your customer. He is the author of Purple Goldfish, Green Goldfish and Golden Goldfish.


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