“Culture eats strategy for breakfast” says the quote (oft attributed to Peter Drucker). Nowhere is this more true than the W Doha Hotel. The first W branded hotel in the Middle East, the hotel both silenced initial skepticism (how could such an edgy brand possibly survive in a conservative market like Qatar?) and blew away the competition, year after year (be it in terms of market share, food & beverage concepts or social media prowess).
What astounds me is not the fact that the hotel is always on the ball (everyone walking through the doors is treated like a minor celebrity), but that they are constantly pushing the envelope. Five to six years ago, they were the first in the region to adopt a ‘proper’ [in my opinion] approach to dedicated social media talent (called the eInsider, this person reported to marketing but had an equal work relationship with Operations, constantly on the move with service recovery, surprise & delight and influencer engagement).