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Some brands have found a lucrative opportunity by having their products featured as guest amenities in hotels. While this arrangement provides potential customers with a chance to experience the product, it does not always translate into immediate success in other sales channels. Three brands, Pharmacopia, MALIN+GOETZ, and down etc, have established a strong presence in the hotel amenity business, and also maintain online sales channels. They shared insights on how they got started, the importance of the amenity business, and common misconceptions about the model.

Pharmacopia, a clean beauty and aromatherapy brand, struggled financially until they entered a licensing agreement with Hunter Amenities International. This partnership allowed Pharmacopia to focus on other aspects of the business while Hunter handled manufacturing, relationships with hotels, and paying royalties. With over 500,000 guests trying Pharmacopia products daily in various hospitality settings, customer demand for purchasing products during their stay led the brand to expand to e-commerce. While targeting these customers to convert them into direct consumers remains a challenge, Pharmacopia plans to further expand to international markets leveraging their existing hotel relationships.

MALIN+GOETZ, a founder-led brand in an emerging category, views the hotel amenity business as more of a marketing platform than a sales channel. They aim to be present where their core consumer is, using the amenities business to increase brand visibility. With a focus on the quality of properties where their products are present and geographic expansion as key indicators of success, MALIN+GOETZ sees amenities as an extension of their larger distribution network. The brand also faces challenges in maintaining brand equity through the consolidation of hotel groups.

Down etc, a company specializing in bedding used by millions of guests daily, highlights the challenge of visual branding compared to personal amenities. Despite this, about 60% of customers discover the brand through their hotel stay, leading to strong personal referrals and loyal customers. While the company’s DTC site and Amazon presence are growing, hotel and hospitality partnerships remain crucial to its sales volume and brand exposure. The foundation of the company lies in providing high-quality bedding products to thousands of people every night through these partnerships.

The three brands shared their perspectives on the importance of the hotel amenity business, with each approaching it differently based on their brand identity and goals. While Pharmacopia sees royalties from hotel amenities as a lifeline that allowed them to fund their business without seeking investors, MALIN+GOETZ focuses on brand visibility and quality of properties where their products are present. Down etc leverages personal referrals and the unique experience of discovering their products through a hotel stay to drive sales and brand loyalty. Despite the challenges and misconceptions surrounding the hotel amenity business, these brands have found success by strategically navigating the dynamics of this unique marketing opportunity.

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