The Personality Project is a group blog about why personality matters in creating authentic marketing and branding.

The Personality Project

Monthly Archives for April, 2008

Contributor 04

5 Questions With The Founder Of Personality Hotels

Yvonne Lembi-Detert
Founder & CEO - Personality Hotels
April 29th, 2008

1. Why was personality the theme that you chose to build your hotel brand around?

Because hospitality is mainly about one very important ingredient…Personality! When we originally started this hotel company, it was called Hotel Group of America. As the company grew and we continued to open more hotels, so many of our guests would comment on how much personality each property had. So, we took this feedback from our guests, and renamed the company Personality Hotels. And that’s very true - each of the properties definitely has its own unique style and personality so there’s always a perfect fit for each of our guests’ individual needs. I can’t meet all of my guests, but I do feel that I get to know a little bit about them just by the hotel where they choose to stay.

2. How did the idea to use the Personality Profile comment cards come around?

Six years ago I was brainstorming what kind of comment card would inspire my guests to fill out and give me their honest feedback. My older daughter, who was 10 years old at the time said “Make it like a paper doll that guests can fill in and make sure to give it a heart & mouth so it comes alive!” Don’t you just love kids and their honesty? and has it increased the number of comments you get overall? I can barely keep up with the number of cards that we receive from our guests! I especially love they ones that are decorated and become original pieces of Personality art. The cards really allow people to express their artistic side and have fun. Do people take theirs with them? No, they love turning them over to us. I post the most original ones in the corporate office to remind my staff why we’re in this profession. I also post them on for all the world to enjoy.

Read On

Contributor 03

Inside the Personality of

Tony Hsieh
CEO & Founder
April 24th, 2008
1 Comment

Over the past 8 years, has grown very quickly. In 1999, the year the company was founded, we had almost no sales. Since then, our historical gross merchandise sales numbers have been:

2000: $ 1.6 million
2001: $ 8.6 million
2002: $ 32 million
2003: $ 70 million
2004: $184 million
2005: $370 million
2006: $597 million
2007: $840 million
2008: $1 billion (projected)

We’ve been asked by a lot of people how we’ve grown so quickly, and the answer is actually really simple. Our top priorities are company culture and customer service, which has resulted in repeat customers and word of mouth being the #1 driver of our growth. We believe that one of the most important ways for us to deliver “above and beyond” customer service is by letting the personality of our call center reps shine through. This means that, unlike most call centers, we don’t have scripts and we don’t measure call times. Each of our reps are are encouraged to let their individual personalities shine when talking with our customers, because we don’t want to come across as just another faceless company.

Read On

Contributor 02

The Dialogue of Personality

Dave Balter
BzzAgent - Founder
April 22nd, 2008

PNI_BzzAgentLogo.jpgWhen we set out to build BzzAgent in late 2001, we wanted to build the first WOM brand. Not the first brand built by WOM, as that’s happened hundreds of times, but the first brand that stood for WOM. So, we created a cute name, a memorable bee logo and came up with snappy copy about hives and honeycombs.

The Bee Logo, the cornerstone of our brand, was developed to near perfection in under an hour, but we spent days refining it. He looked terribly upset. We messed with his forward-arching eyebrows, but every variation made it look like our bee was high on ecstasy, so the glowering low eyebrow look stuck.Whenever anyone told us the bee looked irritated, we responded by saying, “he’s not angry, he’s just determined.” Our brand was memorable, sure; but without even realizing it, the germ of our personality had begun.
Read On

Contributor 01

Welcome to the Personality Project!

Rohit Bhargava
SVP, Ogilvy 360 Digital Influence & Author, Personality Not Included
April 17th, 2008

More than six months ago as I was in the midst of writing Personality Not Included I thought about all the great stories I was hearing from people and how interesting it would be to hear them all in their own words - as opposed to just shared in my voice as many of them are in the book. As I interviewed more and more people for the book, the idea for this site emerged. The Personality Project is a group blog which will feature contributed blog posts from authors, founders, bloggers, artists, and many others all about the topic of personality in business and why it matters. In some cases, you will read stories that the contributors have never shared anywhere else. In others, you will get a deeper look at what has made a particular brand or organization successful today. Ultimately, The Personality Project will share these voices over the next year - two per week every Tuesday and Thursday. So subscribe to the RSS feed or by email, or just bookmark the site to return to. I guarantee you will learn a lot along the way.

Here is a list of the first ten contributors:

  1. Rohit Bhargava (the post you’re reading!)
  2. Dave Balter (CEO/Founder of BzzAgent)
  3. Tony Hseing (CEO/Founder of
  4. Yvonne Lembi-Detert (CEO/Founder of Personality Hotels)
  5. Premal Shah (President of
  6. Sharelle Klauss (CEO & Founder, DRY Soda)
  7. Amit Gupta (Founder of PhotoJojo)
  8. Larry Smith (Editor & Founder, SMITH Magazine)
  9. John Bell (Head of Ogilvy 360 Digital Influence)
  10. Andy Sernovitz (Author, Co-Founder of WOMMA)

These will be published over the next few weeks, and I will also be sharing the next 10 contributors signed onto the project on the first of every month (so the next ten will be announced on May 1st) on the Personality Matters Blog (the official blog for the book). You can read a bit more about the team behind this effort on the About page, but we have already invited more than half of the contributors to the project and will be seeking out others over the coming months. If you know someone who you think could have a great point of view to share here, check out the Join the Project page for more details on how to nominate them. Personality is the difference between good brands and great ones … and this site will give you an inside look at the power of personality through the stories of some of the people who have managed to use it effectively already to build their brands.

Being faceless doesn't work anymore.
The Personality Project is an online collaboration to uncover the many ways that personality matters for brands and individuals to stand out. The site is inspired by the new marketing book Personality Not Included.
Learn More >>


Rohit Bhargava Rohit Bhargava
Influential Marketing Blogger & SVP, Ogilvy 360 Digital Influence
Dave Balter Dave Balter
Founder & CEO - BzzAgent
Tony Hsieh Tony Hsieh
Founder & CEO -
Yvonne Lembi-Detert Yvonne Lembi-Detert
Founder & CEO - Personality Hotels
Premal Shah Premal Shah
President -
Sharelle Klauss Sharelle Klauss
Founder - DRY Soda
Amit Gupta Amit Gupta
CEO & Founder - Photojojo
Larry Smith Larry Smith
Editor & Founder - SMITH Magazine
John Bell John Bell
Managing Director & Executive Creative Director, Ogilvy 360 Digital Influence
Andy Sernovitz Andy Sernovitz
Author, Blogger & Co-Founder of WOMMA
Joshua Onysko Joshua Onysko
CEO & Founder, Pangea Organics
Jake McKee Jake McKee
Chief Ant Wrangler, Ants Eye View & Former Global Community Relations Specialist, LEGO
Valeria Maltoni Valeria Maltoni
Conversation Agent & Fast Company Blogger
David Avrin David Avrin
The Visibility Coach
Nedra Nedra Kline Weinreich
President, Weinreich Communications and Founder of Social Marketing University

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