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- 27 May 2010
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Lisa Tully: Director of Marketing, Trump Hotel Collection

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On catering to the next generation of luxury travellers

NEW YORK – The Trump dynasty might not be your average family, but when it comes to business, it’s certainly instilled with family values, says Lisa Tully. As director of marketing for The Trump Hotel Collection, Tully has carved out a distinctive role for her brand within the Trump Organization portfolio. Established just over two years ago, the Trump Hotel Collection aims at a new, younger generation of luxury consumers, and part of the strategy has been positioning Donald Trump’s three grown children – Don, Jr., Ivanka, and Eric – as its poster men and women for the brand.

Focus is on engaging with the next generation in ways that are intuitive and coherent with their lifestyles. Recent projects include a new Facebook page for the brand, which features a booking widget that enables reservations for each of its five properties, as well as offering information on each location. Getting under the skin of The Trump Hotel Collection’s target audience via social media is proving popular. The hotel brand’s social networking presence currently touches upwards of a million people a day.

Ivanka Trump is crucial to this; her glamorous lifestyle means that she embodies the Trump Hotel Collection lifestyle and also gives the brand a personality. Her Twitter feed following tops 750,000, and combines a mix of personal opinion and insight into her life, and news about the brand. She may be the Trump Hotel Collection’s Executive VP, but she refers to herself as an “American wife and entrepreneur” and is not afraid to give her opinions and directly engage with followers. All this makes her a rather compelling brand ambassador that potential guests can both relate to and aspire toward.

The harsh effects of the economy in recent times have forced the luxury industry to look at the value of their brands and to truly understand what motivates the consumer to buy, say Tully. This “look in the mirror” has been a good exercise and led to a fine-tuning of offerings and a healthy fix that caused brands to abandon what wasn’t working.

Brand definition both within the context of the Trump empire and within the luxury hospitality industry at large is more important than ever, especially for a relatively new brand, she adds. Understanding the priorities of the Trump Hotel Collection’s guests is a big part of this, and Tully is developing distinct brand standards and brand programmes to meet their needs. These include The Spa at Trump, Trump Kids, which provides tailored service to young travellers and Trump Pets for four-legged companions.

Anticipation is at the heart of her business, and Tully believes that the industry as a whole needs to keep an eye on the consumer to anticipate needs and desires before they find something “missing” Significant expansion is looming from her brand, and there are impending openings in Toronto and Panama, with many others in the pipeline. Tully’s test will be in ensuring the pace at which these hotels open meets the ever-evolving demands from the next generation of luxury travelers so that Trump Hotel Collection can continue to establish its rapport with market’s burgeoning youth segment.