According to several news reports, Holiday Inn hotels in London and Manchester, England will be offering a trial of a human bed-warming service. Did they do any market research to see if people actually WANT this?

Apparently, the “warmer” will be fully dressed and leave the bed before the room’s occupant gets in. But it all seems just a bit freaky to me.

There’s the whole stranger’s-hair-on-my-pillow thing. The whole stranger-in-my-hotel-room thing. The whole stand-in-front-of-someone-in-my-pjs thing. Which leads me to the whole “you have GOT to be kidding, right?” thing.

Perhaps I’m a bit on the squeamish side, but I can’t imagine I’m the only one who will have this kind of reaction. Which makes me wonder:  how much market research did the hotel chain actually do before introducing this? (Of course, the joke could be on all of us, who are in a way creating the research Holiday Inn wants, and helping them to a great deal of free publicity in the process.)

The moral of my little bedtime story? Make sure that you vet whatever crazy new product idea you have before going global with it, with a little research we like to call a market opportunity assessment. It could save you some frustration, and potentially a good deal of ribbing on a late-night comedy show or two.