Hotel Offers Homeless Experience: What You Can Learn About Extreme Marketing

While five-star hotels market luxuries to its guests, the Faktum Hotel takes the contrarian approach, setting guests up in homeless nightspots for $16.
February 22, 2013

There’s no nightstand, no room service and no maid. There's a soiled mattress and a filthy sleeping bag. If you’ve booked a room under a highway overpass, there’s the smell of diesel fumes and exhaust, and maybe urine. While hotels around the world compete to be the most luxurious, the Faktum Hotel in Gothenburg, Sweden, has taken the other extreme—providing the least luxurious accommodations in the city. Guests who check into the hotel Faktum have their choice of accommodations from actual homeless nightspots located throughout the city. There are no actual rooms—only the stark and grim benches and cardboard mats where the homeless themselves spend the night. For 100 Swedish krona (about $16 US), guests can tour the sites or actually stay, at their own risk of course. More than a marketing gimmick, Faktum’s website, magazine and the organization itself create awareness about homelessness and provide the homeless with work.

The extreme always stands out from the crowd. As hotels fight over being the most luxurious, this one took a stance on being the least. Either extreme gets noticed. In your business, evaluate your competition and what they're fighting to be. Perhaps your biggest opportunity to stand out is to do the exact opposite  ... to be an extreme.


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