Bridging Finance, Hospitality, and Podcasting. TSHS-079

Bridging Finance, Hospitality, and Podcasting, discussion with Jelani Millard, founder of The Wapechi Collection.

In this episode, Sam-Erik Ruttmann interviews Jelani Millard, a professional risk analyst, podcaster, and hospitality enthusiast. We discuss Jelani Millard’s background, travel experiences, involvement in hospitality, and the Wepachi Collection. We also touch on Jelani’s vision for the hospitality industry and the unique experiences offered by the Wepachi Collection. The conversation delves into the world of travel, hospitality, and personal growth, exploring the business side of travel, the true hustle and craft of travelers, the impact of travel on individuals, and the importance of patience. It also covers the formation of a charitable foundation, the goals and aspirations of the guests, and trends in the hospitality industry.

The Intangible Luxury: Evolving Landscapes of the Hotel Industry. TSHS- 0074


In this episode, Sam Erik Ruttmann interviews Piers Schmidt, the founder of luxury branding consultancy firm Luxury Branding. They discuss the challenges faced by luxury hotel brands in gaining global recognition and value compared to luxury goods brands. They explore the pricing premium discrepancy between luxury hotels and luxury goods, as well as the visibility and marketing challenges faced by hotel brands. They also discuss the distinction between ultra luxury and luxury hotel brands and the limitations on the growth of ultra luxury brands. Finally, they delve into the mindset of revenue generation and the rise of experiential luxury in the hospitality industry. The conversation covers topics such as loyalty programs and ultra luxury brands, building true affinity with guests, the Red Sea Global development in Saudi Arabia, and the future of niche brands.


  • Luxury hotel brands face challenges in gaining global recognition and value compared to luxury goods brands.
  • There is a pricing premium discrepancy between luxury hotels and luxury goods, with hotels commanding a lower premium.
  • Visibility and marketing are key challenges for luxury hotel brands, with a need for more innovative and impactful strategies.
  • Ultra luxury hotel brands are limited in their growth due to the high costs of development and the scarcity of suitable real estate.
  • Revenue generation in the hospitality industry should focus on creating unique and exceptional experiences for guests.
  • The rise of experiential luxury has led to increased demand for one-of-a-kind, immersive experiences in the hospitality sector. Loyalty programs are often used as addiction programs rather than creating true loyalty.
  • Ultra luxury brands should focus on building true affinity with guests rather than relying on loyalty programs.
  • The Red Sea Global development in Saudi Arabia is a unique and sustainable project that aims to attract talent and change the tourism map.
  • Niche brands that focus on a specific theme or passion have the potential to succeed by connecting with their target audience.


00:00 Introduction to Luxury Branding and Hospitality

02:04 The Lack of Recognition for Luxury Hotel Brands

04:31 Pricing Premium Discrepancy

07:47 Visibility and Marketing Challenges

14:47 Differentiating Ultra Luxury and Luxury Hotel Brands

24:11 Revenue Generation and Differentiation

27:06 The Rise of Experiential Luxury

31:55 Loyalty Programs and Ultra Luxury Brands

36:04 Building True Affinity with Guests

40:27 Red Sea Global Development in Saudi Arabia

51:24 The Future of Niche Brands

Selection of brands mentioned in the Podcast



My Guest

Piers Schmidt, Founder

Luxury Branding

Email contact:

Luxury Branding: