Postillion DBE Hackathon

Background and Challenge

As part of your exploration of DBE and Design Thinking we’re partnering with Postillion Hotels. It turns out they need your help. They’ve decided to work with a digital influencer to appeal to a different target group, but who what where when why they still need to figure out. That’s where you come in. You’re going to work in groups of 5-6 students (your activator and hosts will divide you up) on helping solve this challenge:

How can a digital influencer help the Postillion hotel brand to
promote itself amongst hotel school students?


There are some milestones you need to consider:
Day One: The first two phase of design thinking should be explored. Postillion Hotels is expecting a persona description, user journey and problem definition.

Day Two: At the end of day two, the team should have a prototype of their solution. This will be presented in the Museum of Now for feedback.

Day Three: At the end of day three the final product should be delivered.


A 3-minute video with an explanation of the (validated) prototype of the solution to the problem, and an explanation of the methods used to get to the prototype.

How to submit:

  • Upload a 3-minute video on You-Tube (you might want to consider making it private);
  • Create a short description of the video (a sales pitch if you will);
  • Add both of these to a PDF document. Include your group name and the group members;
  • Send the PDF document to Make sure to include your group name in the subject line;
  • Cross your fingers.

Assessment of Deliverable

Each video and description will be assessed on the following:

  • How applicable is the solution for the industry/Postillion
  • Does the video radiate energy?
  • Is there a budget or cost guideline (and is it realistic)?
  • Does the concept resonate with the target group?
  • All facets of Design Thinking have been explored and completed
  • Validated by the end user?
  • BONUS: Is there iteration?
  • Have any suggestions been made as a result of the iteration?


Winning Group

The winning group will be announced on Thursday evening by Erik-Jan Ginjaar and Marco ten Hoor.
The winning team will win:

  • An overnight stay in Postillion Hotel Amsterdam
  • Masterclasses from Hospitality Experts
  • Lunch Dinner and Drinks


Flow of the DBE Hackathon


  • Opening Postillion Hotels by Erik-Jan Ginjaar
  • Digital Influencer by Maarten Reijersbergen (RauwCC)
  • The world of Postillion by Mark Struik
  • Design Thinking in short from Jeroen Kraak (TheNextLab)

These people are available all day on Tuesday to answer questions as you move through
the first two phases of design thinking

Jeroen and Mark available via the SSW platform from 10-11.
Students can enter the meeting via clicking this button to ask questions:


Do we need to promote the Postillion Hotels for students to visit or to come work there?
“In the first place I would say to come to work for us.” Mark Struik
I read they created something called the 'Female touch'. Do they already have this for men? Or do they have something else? What is the reason they created this?
‘No we don’t have this for men. Female rouch is 80% safety (parking near entrance, room near elevaors) and the rest is comfort. Safety was main driver’. Mark Struik
What is the budget for the influencer, via what platforms do you want to have promotion, are there any requirements or demands, what kind of ideal customers do you want to attract via the platforms, would you like to create a certain impression.
“Type of platform is up to you – depands on the customer journey so I am looking forward to have that included in the prototype – budget on promotions is usually 10% of the direct expected return” Mark Struik

Question asked by: Aisha Drent, group number 11

Why did Postillion create this challenge and what have been the struggles with getting students to come to your hotel?
“Part of our employer branding strategy is to create a good name among future generations. We need to attract new talent to stay ahead of the curve. Still many students at Hotelschools look firstly at the main brands like Hilton, Marriott, NH etc. So, we need to establish this good name and make sure that students know who we are and what we have to offer.” Mark Struik
Are there any more targetgroups Postillion Hotels would like to attract? Maybe ones that there missing right now?
‘Hard questions. Besides now during Covid we do miss almost all target groups. When it comes to guest we are going to focus a bid more on what we call the corporate hotel guest – the contracted business with corporates. The right buying persona to target would be the travel manager or procurement manager. The persona for the guest would be the individual business traveller’. Mark Struik
What can Postillion offer us? and what are the pro's of Postillion? And what kind of position is Postillion looking for?
‘You can find the answers in the questions earlier as well as in the presentation this morning. We are always looking for talent, interns etc. in all departments and available positions change overtime. So the assignment is not for a specific job at this moment but to establish a good name among students so when they are ready to search for a job, they will look for a position at Postillion’. Mark Struik
Is Esther able to talk? So, it is possible to make a video of her talking?
‘No, unfortunately not yet’ Maarten Reijersbergen
What does postillion mean with hospitality DNA?
Hospitality is in your DNA. You have to be willing and love to work with people and you want to make a connection with your guests. You have to meet the expectations of your guest in order to satisfy them.
Is it possible for Esther to move within a video?
It is not possible for Esther to move within a video.
What's the goal we should reach? this persona should sponsor the hotel for guest or just let everybody know how is amazing working for them?
“Last one. How amazing it is to work for. Still also amazing for guest! Service profit chain principle” Mark Struik
I have a question. How would you describe the persona of the bussiness booker?
If you want to receive the passport, please ask your activator.
Will it be possible to open the hotel's backstage for a group of students so that they can experience how is it working? We want to organise an event which will show students how the hotel's departments work and also to give them the opportunity to speak to the staff and management.
‘If it is a good idea – then we are absolutely open for it’. Mark Struik
How does Postillion wants to attract the students target audience?
“As new talents we have a goal to be the greatest place to work in our industry. For that we offer several opportunities such as: personal development, training, possible seat at the tabel for decision making, NXTChief program, doorgroei ladder (sorry don’t know in english). Suggestions are of course welcome” Mark Struik
Is the challenge for one specific hotel or the entire Postillion?
Entire Postillion.
What do they mean with validated by the end user? And what means iteration?
“Validated means “responded to by the end end user”. Outcome can be positive or negative. Both is OK, because it answers one of your assumptions.

Iteration means “little improvement on your original idea”. Continues iteration will allow you to constantly improve your services. Please note: it is NOT part of the assignment to iterate on your outcomes.” Jeroen Kraak

Is it possible in the future to make her talk? Are they already working on her voice?
It is possible in the future to make her talk and they are already working on it. But it will not be finished before 2021
Do you have an example of the expectations of your guest?
Usually within Design Thinking this would be part of the proces, what doe you/ does your persona expect from a hotel like Postillion. Furthermore that is subject to type of guest. In general you can say: professional service with a smile, hospitality, good (but not over the top) F&B, comfortable bedroom and bathrooms. Our main focus is on short stay:1-3 nights
Who is the persona. Can we choose a virtual Influencer ourselves or can you give us the name about the girl from the presentation that we can find information about her?
The name of the influencer is Esther. Please ask your host for the media kit. Your host can find this on teams. The other question we are still waiting for a response from Postillion.
“Please note: the user personas are the students themselves.” Jeroen Kraak
I wanted to know how we can get information about what postillion wants as a ideal customer.
“Ideal customer depands on segment and not easy to answer in a few words. Still key elements for almost all segmments: returning, direct channels, loyal (have high spend), expectations meet sevice level standard (e.g. not guest who are looking for 5* and book us instead)” Mark Struik
Are we free to choose the influencer, or we should have in mind a particular one?
‘Yes, you are free to choose the virtual influencer. Maarten showed you Esther Olofsen. Please explain why you do or do not work with Esther.’ Jeroen Kraak
And if the persona we have to investigate then is about the digital influencer or the target group
“Usually you create the persona for the target group, that is the basic of the design sprint methodology. Still the persona of the influences is in this case part of the prototype.” Mark Struik
What are the requirements are to work for them and what postillion would offer us?
‘Requirements are (of course depands on the job) hospitality DNA – so preferably hotelschool. we can teach you the skill, but we can’t teach you attitude. Furthermore, horeca CAO and training budget. Also see earlier questions about how we want to attract students. And presentation about company this morning’. Mark Struik
I was wondering if we could get more information about what kind of products Postillion Hotels uses. Like what kind of eco-friendly products, products with as little plastic as possible, what kind of showers and washing machines, stuff like that. Maybe some "brands"? I was also wondering what local companies Postillion Hotels buy their produce from, maybe you could give us a few names
products come from of the local companies?
That is very detailed question – not sure if that depth is needed in the process. Regarding eco-friendly: we follow the standards of green key and we are all gold certificated. Our many different (but selected) provides and hotels must follow those guidelines. We do not so much on a local basis but have partnerships with companies who can serve us on a national basis.
And can you ask them what kind of questions Postillion will ask during a job interview?
‘What kind of person you are, attitude based questions, based on history and experience’. Mark Struik
Do we need to think about the payment which the influencer gets from Postillion Hotel? Or is that not important for the Assignment?
No that is not important.