4 storytelling lessons from 100 years of ‘The Hilton Effect’

The hotel chain celebrated a century of business growth by shining a spotlight and crafting content around its biggest champions: Its employees and customers.

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This year, Hilton turned 100.

Considering it’s grown from one hotel to more than 5,700 hotels and 17 brands in 113 countries and territories, the chain has a lot to commemorate—but it didn’t want to mark the occasion with only statistics and accomplishments.

We could have told an incredible story ourselves and thrown a great party, but we wanted third party perspective,” says Lou Dubois, director of content for global brand communications at Hilton Worldwide.

Dubois says:

The result … detailed in a 65-page whitepaper by New York Times best-selling author and Stanford University professor Chip Heath and co-writer Karla Starr, was “The Hilton Effect.” As they define it, “The Hilton Effect is the impact that Hilton has had and continues to have on travelers, the travel industry, its employees and communities around the world.”

The whitepaper turned into an entire campaign full of stories and content—many of which provide lessons in storytelling excellence.

Consider these four takeaways:

1. Tie everything back to your organization’s vision and brand voice.

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