Hotel Online  Special Report

LRA Worldwide and W Hotels Featured Presenters
at 18th Annual Internal Branding Conference


HORSHAM, Pennsylvania/NEW YORK, New York; April 17, 2006 — LRA Worldwide, Inc., a leading consulting, organizational development and research firm in the growing sector of Customer Experience Management (CEM), and W Hotels will co-present at the 18th Annual Internal Branding Conference in New York City.  Rob Rush, CEO of LRA, and Sandra Rintelen, Corporate Director of Operations — W Hotels Worldwide, will present a case study titled: “Aligning Practice With Promise: How W Hotel Associates Live and Breathe the Brand.”  The conference runs from April 26-28 at the Muse Hotel; Rush and Rintelen will speak on Thursday, April 27th at 10:50 AM. 

The conference is sponsored by the Advanced Learning Institute (ALI), a conference production company based in Chicago with a focus on cutting-edge business trends for executives.  The Internal Branding Conference is dedicated entirely to the discussion and study of organizational alignment around a branding message as a strategic initiative designed to increase employee engagement, performance and productivity, as well as company financial performance.  In addition to LRA and W, the conference will feature speakers from America Online, PepsiCo, Washington Mutual, IBM and the Mayo Clinic, among others.

“This case study is a great addition to our program,” said Megan Kelly, the Conference Director. “Anyone who has ever stayed at a W can attest to their expertise in internal branding, from San Diego to Seoul.   And as a pioneer in the field, LRA has helped companies in a variety of industries—from hospitality to home-building—design, implement and sustain a vibrant internal culture and brand.”

In its external messaging, W Hotels makes quite a bold brand promise, vowing to transport its guests into a “sensory multiplex, where the guest’s arrival is a passport out of the mundane and into the WOW.”  For W, the worldwide challenge is to ensure that its “talent” not only understands what the brand promise means operationally, but also has the skills and resources to execute consistently and exceptionally, across a rapidly growing portfolio.  Since the introduction of the W brand in 1998, LRA has worked closely with W Hotels leadership to provide a worldwide brand assurance program. 

“We are obviously very passionate about the internal branding at W,” explained Rintelen.  “The beauty of our signature ‘Whatever\WheneverTM service is that it appears so spontaneous—and it is.  But behind that spontaneity is a rigorous process of recruiting, hiring, training, standards development and enculturation that I believe conference attendees will find interesting.”

“We’re very proud of the role we’ve played in helping to develop and sustain one of the signature internal brands in the marketplace,” Rush said.  “From its inception, W Hotels understood the concept of internal branding, and more and more of our clients today are realizing that the external customer experience is a direct result of the strength and messaging of your internal customer experience and brand.”

For conference registration information, call ALI at 888.3672.7400 or logon to  All conference sessions and lodging arrangements have been made at the Muse Hotel, 130 West 46th Street in New York City (

About Advanced Learning Institute:

The Advanced Learning Institute's mission is to help executives build strong personal relationships, expand their business knowledge of cutting-edge trends, and find proven solutions to a wide range of strategic management problems. 

Our forums bring together industry leaders and experts to share valuable, real-world experiences, and best practices on how to meet tomorrow's management challenges. For more information, visit

About W Hotels:

W Hotels is a global lifestyle brand with 20 properties in the most vibrant cities around the world.   Inspiring and indulging its guests with thoughtful, refreshing and stylish experiences, signature restaurants, bars and destination spas, W has become the fastest growing luxury hotel brand in the world.  Each hotel offers a unique mix of innovative design, comfort and cultural influences from fashion to music to art and everything in between.  Recent openings include W's first property in Asia, W Seoul—Walkerhill and its first property in Canada, W Montreal. W Residences, offering the W lifestyle at home, have been announced for Las Vegas, Hollywood, Dallas, South Beach, Phoenix, Scottsdale and Hoboken. Internationally, W has announced plans for hotels in the Maldives, Barcelona, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Dubai.  For more information, visit

About LRA Worldwide:

LRA Worldwide, Inc., is a leading consulting, training and research company that specializes in Customer Experience Management (CEM). LRA helps companies and brands design and deliver the optimal customer experience across all key touch points using an integrated suite of services that measure and improve service quality, customer satisfaction, employee performance, loyalty, customer advocacy and profitability. LRA specializes in “operationalizing the brand”—turning brand promise and customer strategy into operational reality.  LRA’s tactical CEM practice areas include Standards Development and Content Management, Organizational Development & Training, Customer and Employee Research and Quality Assurance/Mystery Shopping.  These service offerings are either deployed together in a strategic manner to continually monitor and improve the customer experience or deployed individually to address a specific client tactical need. LRA has deep sector expertise in the automotive, financial services, healthcare, hospitality, leisure & real estate, retail, consumer goods & services, sports and entertainment, and travel and transportation industries, and counts industry leaders such as Starwood Hotels & Resorts, NetJets, WCI Communities, Inc., Churchill Downs Incorporated, MGM MIRAGE, Hard Rock International and The PGA TOUR as clients. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at


Zachary Conen
Director of Marketing

Also See: LRA Worldwide Is retained by Hard Rock Hotels & Casinos to “Operationalize” the Rock ‘n’ Roll Guest Experience / March 2006
Choice Hotels Canada Employs LRA Worldwide for Mystery Shopping Brand Assurance Program / February 2006
LRA Develops Innovative Quality Assurance/Mystery Shopping Program for Leading Canadian Hotel Company Audit to Measure Functional and Emotional Elements of “The Delta Hotels Guest Experience” / October 2005
The Beverly Hilton and LRA Worldwide Renew Quality Assurance Partnership / August 2005
Grupo Posadas Selects LRA Worldwide to Conduct Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty Research / February 2005
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Partners with LRA Worldwide to Manage and Improve Customer Experience / September 2004
Hyatt Hotels Corp. Selects LRA for Quality Assurance Services / Aug 2004
Dover Downs Gaming & Entertainment, Inc. and Dover Motorsports, Inc. Are Not Leaving Employee Engagement to Chance; Sister Companies Partner with LRA to Measure Employee Engagement / April 2004
Pestana Hotels & Resorts Selects LRA Worldwide to Manage Guest Satisfaction Survey Program / January 2004
Interstate Hotels & Resorts and LRA Worldwide Partner on New Brand and Quality Initiative / October 2003

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