Whether for ratings or reviews or for persona building, a concept first advanced by Alan Cooper, user experience is fast becoming the definitive Web 2.0 standard.
For ratings and reviews, user generated content is the definitive standard, but a review or rating must be based on user experience to be user generated.
Earlier this week, the Business 2.0 article Entrepreneur finds 'suite' dreams in hotels profiled some of the success behind Chip Conley CEO of hotel chain Joie de Vivre Hospitality.
Do yourself two favours: read the article and then actually go to the web site. Conley is clearly a man who not only "gets it" but who invests much of his time taking the time to "get it". Fascinating.
It extends through the brand and that's typical of any good marketer, but what's truly interesting is the adroit simplicity with which it's accomplished, and that's never really as simple as it looks.
Conley focuses not on the pricepoint of the room, but on its occupant. First issue to be determined, business, romantic or family travel. Three different dialogues. Enter "Yvette", the hotel matchmaker, who asks not about the room you desire, but about who you are.
Yvette's response is not only a hotel room selection, but incorporates counsel from a couple of locals (Mine included Chip Conley himself.) and some things I might be interested in doing or seeing.
Persona building is a great and useful tool, and done properly, as in the hands of Mr. Conley, it is also a substantial revenue generating tool.
Have a good one.
~ The (SEP) Guy
PS - Seriously, read the article and then go to the site. More than food for thought. Cause for action.