As his company celebrates its 40th anniversary and co-sponsors Tuesday’s closing reception (Universal Orlando’s CityWalk Celebration), One+ caught up with Kevin Kirby, Hard Rock International’s senior director - worldwide sales, to find out how the brand stays relevant in more than 52 countries.
Why does the Hard Rock brand have staying power?
The great story behind this brand is that the original cafe in London wasn’t born of in-depth marketplace research. It was developed by a belief in creating a place where people of all classes in society could eat side by side. It was truly an organic development, and it flourished because of exceptional service, quality food and a unique sense of music as a guest unifier.
And the appeal today cuts across generations and cultures! To remain relevant we’ve needed to evolve our experience, and we’ve accomplished that by selecting key cities to place our cafes, hotels and casinos to help us perpetuate brand ideologies and act as the local ambassadors of rock.
Philanthropy is integral to Hard Rock’s mission. What are your recent endeavors in this area?
We have several mottos that are proudly displayed on our cafe and hotel walls: ‘Take Time To Be Kind,’ ‘All Is One,’ ‘Save The Planet,’ ‘Love All Serve All.’ They weren’t clever marketing phrases. They were what our brand’s founders believed. So it resonates clearly when you witness the impact of the historic earthquake in Haiti and the tsunami in Japan.
We’ve engaged our fellow rockers across the globe to help in supporting American Red Cross efforts. Our donations grow daily, but obviously more can be done. Please take a moment to visit our website to help show support for the people of Japan.
Where does Hard Rock go next?
That’s the best part! To be relevant for another 40 years, Hard Rock needs our portfolio to reflect the growth and diversity of music as a reflection of the integration of cultures and desires. Each cafe has different floor plans, applications of technology, art, memorabilia, design and even local culinary additions to our made-from-scratch menus.
If you visit our new cafe in Florence, Italy, in a remodeled 18th century cinema, or our Times Square cafe, our new Hollywood Blvd cafe in Los Angeles or our new Honolulu cafe on the Waikiki Strip, the vibe and attitude is Hard Rock, and the visual experience is like no where else.