C2, that font of innovation and creativity launched in Montreal just seven years ago, is a truly unique event. In his opening remarks, C2 founder Jean-François Bouchard encouraged us to “think wider, not just deeper”; that is, to open ourselves to what new disciplines can inspire and not get stuck in the usual places. C2 believes in mixing it up, in “transformative collisions”.
Under the big circus top is where the conferences take place, punctuated by spectacular and poetic appearances by Cirque de Soleil artists. While lines of waiting people turned into street performances and clowns danced through the crowds, participants met in Brain Dates to dream of the future and attended insightful labs and workshops to dive deep into big human questions.
C2 is a place where the study of birds and the habits of ornithologists become a way to understand how we play our professional roles. In a room covered in mirrors, we reflected, collectively, on appearances and cognitive bias, while in another experience, fueled by neuro-technology, others explored the bigger impacts of capturing brain waves. Needless to say, I won’t forget my C2 experience.
I was also impressed by the presentation by Sébastien Bazin, CEO of Accor Hotels, who shared his recommendations for using digital transformation to resist titans of the “new economy”. Having faced both Booking and Airbnb, he knows what he’s talking about.
Not surprisingly, he noted that what these young companies have in common is having successfully built a business around their clients and offering them relevant services that they’ll want to use again and again.
Why is this so important?
The more we use a service, the more pertinent and fresh the data collected; this enables companies to regularly improve by offering services that are increasingly more specific and on-point. A virtuous circle.
While Accor Hotels opens to create five interactions with one client each year, Bazin noted, Facebook reasonably generates eight interactions a day, while Amazon enjoys five per week. Data, data and more data. The fresher, the better.
“It costs me a fortune to acquire clients, so I have an interest in making sure that they stay and develop in my ecosystem.“
– Sébastien Bazin
This approach led to the development of new services like AccorLocal.com, which helps you enjoy the perks of a hotel, without having to stay there. This website helps you buy a bouquet of flowers at midnight, park your car in a pitch, buy chocolates before a date, book a massage or spa treatment, sign up for a sports class or a cooking class for kids, get shirts dry cleaned and pick up a package. Services that are useful to Accor’s neighbours, that amplify the experience for travellers (at reception, in their rooms, etc.), that create “signature” moments to make clients more loyal and encourage more and more frequent visits.
Sébastien Bazin’s comments are especially resonant in the context of C2, where every experience in crafted to create memorable moments that stand out from the rest. Because I had so many new experiences that I will continue to think about on a regular basis, because I’m looking forward to reviewing the content and reading the emails, I can definitely say that I want to return next year. Sébastien Bazin understands this perfectly, and the proof is what he’s done with the hotels in his group.
It is also an ambition that we hold dear at BETC Digital, this desire to create experiences for our brands that will be, above all, memorable. How will I make you remember this about our agency? 🙂
Here’s a signature moment that we created for Joe&Joe
Photo: Jeff on the Road