Fortune recently launched their ‘World’s Most Admired Companies’ survey. In the survey, Fortune asked businesspeople to vote for the companies they admired most, regardless of industry. In this piece, a smaller breakdown from the results, Fortune outlines the ten companies most admired for quality of products/services. On the list, in order, are Walt Disney, Intel, UPS, Apple, Singapore Airlines, Nordstrom, Altria Group, Adobe Systems, Procter & Gamble and Philip Morris International.
Disney’s ‘obsessive focus on product quality was noted while Intel’s product innovation despite hard times was mentioned. UPS was commended not only for its amiable drivers but for innovations such as its iPhone app for package tracking and carbon neutral option. Apple was noted for the reverence and popularity of their products. Singapore Airlines, despite other airlines taking things away, did not alter its services. First Class passengers are still given the royal treatment and the airline receives 40% of its sales from premium travelers.
Nordstrom, despite the economy hitting the luxury retail market hard, did not post a quarterly loss and maintains its high level of customer service. Altira and Philip Morris were noted as relying on their premium brands. Adobe was noted as the ‘gold standard’ for its products and Procter & Gamble offered their highest priced skincare line but gained traction from those who ‘traded down’ from department store brands.
Interestingly, though ‘Hotels, Casinos & Resorts’ and ‘Food Services’ were listed as categories in the overall survey, none were listed in the top 10 for quality. Most notable relative to the ‘engagement’ element of the guest experience were Singapore Airlines, UPS and Nordstrom. Maintaining a level of superior service, even during hard economic times, is admirable and does evidently correspond directly to loyalty and admiration. The rest were more noted for their products and innovations, which do also directly relate back to the consumer or guest experience.
So what do hospitality companies need to focus on in order to be ‘admired’ for high quality? My suggestion would be not to put all your eggs in one basket. As always, focus on the people element but don’t forget the product and the process.