Let me start by saying that this particular Four Seasons might be the nicest resort we've stayed at. Obviously, being located beach front on one of the most beautiful islands on the earth, where the weather seems to be always 82 degrees and sunny, helps. But it goes beyond that. The grounds of the resort are immaculately groomed, the rooms themselves are that perfect combination of comfortable yet impeccable, the food, the drinks, the pools - all exceptional. And of course the service is not only good, it's friendly.
But none of this should be surprising - this is the product and brand of the Four Seasons. With that, it's worth noting that not everything in this resort was the highest of the high end. The silverware was not Tiffany, the threadcount on the bed sheets were not the highest available, the plasma flat screen not the top of the line, etc. But these things didn't matter. In other words, there were certain product decisions they made - for cost reasons or otherwise - that didn't effect the experience and, consequently, the brand.
So how did they make these decisions? How did they decide that it was ok to have a plasma TV whose resolution was not the best, but that a regular TV - as opposed to a plasma - would be bad? And make no mistake about it, this was the right decision - the room experience just wouldn't have seemed up to snuff if I walked in and saw an old Sony Trinitron on the dresser.
In other words, the overall product they deliver is really the sum of a bunch of smaller decisions made around the various product "features". These decisions are driven by the brand they have built and want to maintain. If I'm staying at a Motel Six - a Sony Trinitron and hard mattress is fine. The lights need to work, the place should be clean and I don't expect to pay a lot - and that's pretty much it. But the Four Seasons? I expect more than just a clean room.
Really this is a problem of both substance and process. First, they need to figure out what that brand is (the substance). But that's not enough. They also need the process for organizationally making decisions to adequately reflect the brand. No one person can own each such decision, yet each such decision needs to be consistent with the brand.
In any event, it seems to me that this requires build your product around your brand as opposed to vice versa. And its very obvious that the Four Seasons does a good job of this.