There's a famous 1980s hamburger TV commercial where a little old lady opens the bun of a hamburger only to find a dime-sized paddy and says, "Where's the beef?" I recently opened the door to our test room and asked, "Where's the color?"
It's no secret. I like red. Each morning I have a difficult decision about which red tie to wear. My kids give me a hard time, so every now and then I wear purple - it's almost red, isn't it?
Young people today don't like the same kind of guest room that I enjoyed. They like hardwood floors, a very small desk. We used to have two desks. Now, Millennials have computers and don't need all that workspace. What they do want is a big TV. They don't need closets as their stays are short and they rarely unpack and hang their clothes. They want great Internet access and a great pillow and mattress.
So, I'm caught between what today's customer wants - and we want to give them everything they want - and a little color. How about throw pillows or something that's got some color to it?
Marriott's brands have grown up through the years with colorful rooms. I was in one of our new rooms the other night with dark gray floors, and dark gray drapes. It's like going into a cave and it's very dark. I'm told that Millennials don't like color. I don't really know.
So, I'm not surrendering. I'm pushing for a little color. I'm not making much progress, but I'm still pushing for it.
I want to know what you think. Do we want the "Prince of Darkness" or some color in our rooms? I know it's a loaded question. Please leave a comment.
I'm Bill Marriott and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the move.
This blog first appeared on blogs.marriott.com.