Is There a Need For Portable Chargers In Hotels? Our Research Says There Is!

Here at PlusBlue I’ve often wondered what it’d be like to have our chargers in hotels. Okay, maybe obsessed over it would be a better way to describe it. We’ve sold and rented-out countless chargers at Ohio State football games, Bengals games, Reds games, the Western & Southern Open, and the BNP Parabas Open in California. We’ve sold to individuals, to companies, and to golf resorts. I’m very proud of how much our start-up has accomplished in the portable charging space, but there’s one market that’s always eluded us. The hotel industry.

Call me biased, but having a portable charger in my hotel room seems like a slam dunk idea. No more would I get in from a flight and have to worry about charging my phone on 20% battery. Or have to look for the nearest outlet when I’m out and I’ve forgotten to charge-up the night before. I could take it with me to weddings, meetings, dinners, poolside, and nights out on the town. I could remain connected, while not being confined to a three foot cord plugged into the wall. Obviously, these are things I’ve thought about a lot, but it got us at PlusBlue thinking, there’s got to be more people that think this is a good idea, right?

That’s why the PlusBlue team put together a short survey, so we could hear what you thought.

When we put out the survey a couple weeks ago we had several goals in mind:

  1. Identify the different types of travelers and their characteristics
  2. Discover if there was a desire for portable chargers in hotels
  3. Ask if having a portable charger in your hotel room would enhance your experience

Fortunately we received over 500 responses! 

Surveyors were asked to pick only one of the following, but many stated how it's an even split between work and leisure. 

Surveyors were asked to pick only one of the following, but many stated how it's an even split between work and leisure. 

PlusBlue Chargers are compatible with a wide spectrum of USB mobile devices including: smartphones, tablets, MP3 players, digital cameras, and more. They hold  a battery capacity of 6000mAH, have a charging speed of 2.1A, weigh 5.4oz, and retail at $65 (with free engraving).  By comparison, a Mophie Powerstation Pro has a battery of 6000aAM, charge of 2.1A, weighs 12.69oz, and retails at $100. 

PlusBlue Chargers are compatible with a wide spectrum of USB mobile devices including: smartphones, tablets, MP3 players, digital cameras, and more. They hold  a battery capacity of 6000mAH, have a charging speed of 2.1A, weigh 5.4oz, and retail at $65 (with free engraving).  By comparison, a Mophie Powerstation Pro has a battery of 6000aAM, charge of 2.1A, weighs 12.69oz, and retails at $100. 

Several surveyors mentioned how frequently they used Google Maps or other GPS apps were while traveling, but stated that it wasn't as important as Email/Calls/or Texts.  

Several surveyors mentioned how frequently they used Google Maps or other GPS apps were while traveling, but stated that it wasn't as important as Email/Calls/or Texts.  

If a portable charger was available there would be a lot less people returning to their rooms to recharge. 

We wanted to know where you, the traveler, would prefer to have portable chargers available within the hotel. 80% responded with a place OUTSIDE their rooms. 

We wanted to know where you, the traveler, would prefer to have portable chargers available within the hotel. 80% responded with a place OUTSIDE their rooms. 

Portable chargers give you the ability to not feel tethered to plug-ins.  

Portable chargers give you the ability to not feel tethered to plug-ins.  

That's 77% of surveyors responding in the affirmative, that having a portable charger at their disposal would enhance their overall experience. That could boost up a lot of Yelp reviews.   Please use the discount code "PBSURVEY" to redeem a 35% discount on a custom engraved portable charger from our website www.plusblue.co 

That's 77% of surveyors responding in the affirmative, that having a portable charger at their disposal would enhance their overall experience. That could boost up a lot of Yelp reviews.

 

Please use the discount code "PBSURVEY" to redeem a 35% discount on a custom engraved portable charger from our website www.plusblue.co 

What Can The Hotel Industry Learn From The Curved Shower Curtain Rod Revolution?

The next big thing!

This term can be applied to almost any everyday thing, but in the hotel industry this concept is paramount. Hotels are constantly looking for the next best thing. What's the next best service, idea, amenity? What can be improved, tweaked, or revolutionized all-together? In the early 2000's, the Westin Hotel chain took a simple idea from a catalog and transformed the way their guests enjoyed showers. The idea: the curved shower curtain rod. 

If you've frequented hotels in the last decade you have more than likely taken a shower with one of these. Maybe you've even done a bathroom remodel of your own and installed one in your house. They're great for hotels because they are able to make interior shower space seem much bigger compared to straight shower rods. They also help guests avoid the dreaded clingy shower curtain. It's a pretty simple concept, but if you stayed at a hotel in the 90's there's a slim chance you would've seen one of these. 

Thankfully, they're one of the most common items you'll find in hotel bathrooms today. 

When did these become the standard? 

You might be thinking that some genius hotel mogul with a crack R&D department came up with this idea, or a bunch of focus groups came together and brainstormed how to change the shower experience. The truth is the idea originated when a Westin associate happened to be perusing through a catalog. When she stumbled upon this innovative new shower rod she passed the idea along, which made it's way to the desk of Westin's CEO, Barry Sternlicht. Sternlicht described how the concept went from idea, to implementation, to completely revolutionizing the hotel industry. 

"One of our best innovations came from one of our associates in Canada who happened to notice a curved shower rod in a small bathroom catalog. It was a simple little item that cost only about $13, but it opened up a whole lot of space inside a crowded shower. 
We took a look at it and very quickly made it one of our standards, but of course everyone else picked up on it. 
It was something that seemed obvious, but someone noticed it, our systems captured the idea, it made it to my desk and then we implemented it... It was one in a series of constant changes needed to keep our brand at the top and relevant. 
That's when big company works best, when ideas from the field get to the top without being killed along the way. When the experiences of your customers and your staff have the chance to make your product a littler better each day."

What does the curved shower rod have to do with Plus Blue?

Now, you're probably asking yourself, why am I reading about a shower curtain on a portable charging company's blog? The two have nothing to do with one another. Maybe not at first, but if you think about how the curved shower curtain rod went from a little known catalog item to a standard in every Westin hotel then you might understand where I'm headed with this.  

Plus Blue portable chargers could be the next curved shower curtain rod!

Individuals within the hotel industry are constantly looking for the newest, most innovative, amenities that will help better serve their guests. Consider portable chargers for a moment. 

  • It's great for professionals in-town on business
  • Vacationers who might need to stay plugged in
  • And even everyday use, because we all know how quick smartphone batteries can diminish. 

But have you ever seen a portable charger in your hotel room? Probably not. 

In Sternlicht's quote mentioned earlier he says, "of course everyone else picked up on it" when talking about the curved shower curtain rod movement he started, but he also said those constant innovations kept his hotel's brand relevant and near the top. 

Being ahead of the curve in a copycat industry can make the difference between a hotel's success, and failure. Lee Cockerell, former Executive Vice President of Operations at Walt Disney Resorts, describes the thought process behind staying ahead of the curve:

"Look at what others are NOT doing, and seize that opportunity to do it yourself. It's kind of like how in fishing it's sometimes best to cast your line where no one else thinks there are fish." 

You could wait till other hotels implement a service into every one of their hotels, or you could be one of the first movers.

Hoteliers who are looking for the next best amenity to set themselves apart from the competition should look into Plus Blue's portable chargers; they could very easily be the next curved shower rod. 


Golf Digest and Sports Illustrated Golf Both Agree on a Must-Have Item All Golfers Should Own

When you think GPS and golf you generally consider the two things to go hand-in-hand, right? I mean, in today's technological world there are all kinds of GPS devices to help any golfer measure his or her distance from the pin. You have belt clips, watches, laser guided range finders, and of course just the good old fashion handheld GPS device, like this one:

 

Before the advent of GPS technology in smartphones, these devices were as highly coveted as a top-of-the-line driver. Every golfer wanted a device that would tell them exactly where they were on the course, how far away the hole was, and (sometimes more importantly) how far away the hazards were. The only problem was they cost about as much as a top-of-the-line driver. 

Fortunately, thanks to the evolution of GPS and technology, you can have your own GPS device for free by simply downloading an app on your smartphone.

Most golfers are well aware of this, as evident by the number of downloads of the app GolfLogix, branded as "#1 Free Golf App." GolfLogix's projects that it has had between 1,000,000-5,000,000 installs. It truly is a great app, and one that I've used myself countless times. But, as anyone who's used a golf GPS app on their phone can tell you, the biggest drawback is that it kills your phone's battery life. 

The solution? Well, you probably already guessed it. 

PlusBlue chargers are the perfect item for any golfer that uses their phone on the course. Whether it's due to a GPS app that is draining battery, or even just to keep your phone charged during a 5-hour round. This handy device can be more useful than a pitching wedge, for some. 

Aside from individual use, imagine if this service was provided by golf courses themselves? It would be amazing to be able to rent or rent-to-buy a portable charger for a round.

We're not the only ones who've seen this win-win potential. In the past year we've filled orders from several golf courses looking to add PlusBlue chargers to their pro shop. Elmira Country Club, for example, not only purchased our portable chargers, but also had us custom engrave ECC's logo into each charger.