Premiere Inn

Whitbread and the power of social proof

Whitbread, owner of Costa, Premier Inn and Beefeater amongst others, has beaten profit expectations in their interim results published today, reporting a pre-tax profit of £216.1m, £3m over analysts’ predictions.

You could blame the sheer ubiquity of its coffee branches, the powerful draw of a roadside steak or the sight of Lenny Henry’s beaming face for this success, however Whitbread’s head of customer relationship management (CRM) & loyalty, David Oliver would have you believe differently.

David Oliver believes that it is principles from human behavioural psychology that are driving customers through its doors. In particular, the art of social proofing.