Promises You Can’t Keep … Why Make Them?


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LaQuintalogoThis is a theme I am writing about over the last couple of months, because it keeps coming up … and I can’t see what the point is of making promises you can’t deliver upon. This post is about La Quinta Inns (and Suites). I have been aware of this chain since my days in Texas 30 years ago. My perception has always been a budget chain, a step above Motel 6.

Over the last year or more I have seen and paid attention to the La Quinta advertising campaign. It communicates well, in my opinion, that if you are a business person on the road (especially in sales), La Quinta is the right place for you because they have great rooms, comfortable beds, very high speed Internet, etc. As such, I decided to move them into my consideration group, putting them (in my mind) on par with Hampton Inns.

Normally I stay in Courtyards or Hilton Garden Inns when I travel on business, and if they are not available, then Hampton Inns. Recently, I had the occasion to select a La Quinta (twice) as none of the three other choices were located where I needed to be, and a La Quinta was in each case. Having moved them to my consideration list, I was pleased to have the opportunity to try them … unfortunately.

The first property was not even remotely up to the standard implied by their advertising and the second property, while better, was not really at that standard either, especially the bed and the alleged “ultra fast high-speed Internet” (more like a 9600 baud line). Both met my original perception that they are a step up from Motel 6. To be fair the fact that none of the three brands I normally select were available suggests that these locations were not high traffic business areas, but a brand promise is a brand promise … except when it isn’t.

Neither of these hotels remotely resembled the promise in the ad. I understand that La Quinta is a franchise and some of these properties may have older franchise agreements that do not require them to meet the current brand promise. But, the website does not reflect this, so I expect them to meet the promise. Since they don’t, I’m unlikely to stay again at a La Quinta.

Long ago I stopped staying at Holiday Inns for the same reason. Random quality. I appreciate that La Quinta is trying to grow, but if too many of their properties don’t meet the brand promise, only two things will happen as a result of this campaign:

  1. Many new prospective customers will try, and be disappointed
  2. Their advertising agency will make a lot of money

Don’t make promises you can’t deliver, and for sure, don’t make them loudly.


Republished with author's permission from original post.

Mitchell Goozé
Mitchell Goozé is the president and founder of Customer Manufacturing Group. His broad scope of business experience ranges from operations management in established firms, to start-up and turn-around situations and mergers. A seasoned general manager, he has headed divisions of large corporations and been CEO of independent firms, always focusing the company strategy on the most important person in business . . . the customer.


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