Which Marriott and/or Starwood hotel brands deserve to survive or die? Marriott International is acquiring Starwood Hotel & Resorts Worldwide for $12.2 billion, creating the world’s largest hotel group, representing over 30 individual hotel brands with over 1.1 million rooms. The objective for global hotel groups hotel is to maximize room density in high demand destinations, but some of the brands will be cast aside into the hotel brand deadpool. Keep, Merge, Kill or Sell are the strategic options facing Marriott’s senior executive team.
What should have been a simple task of matching descriptions to the appropriate hotel brand, was instead an impossible challenge. The world’s largest hotel groups, in an effort to rapidly grow have taken shortcuts with fundamental branding. By introducing new, poorly differentiated, lifestyle lodging brands the problem has reached epidemic proportions. In most cases, the major hotel brands do not successfully differentiate themselves based on product, scale or personality traits. As intermediaries continue to grow distribution market share, this could become a problem.
The world’s largest hotel chains have recently embarked on an unprecedented period of introducing new lodging brands. Hotel brands differentiate themselves through a combination of physical attributes, service delivery processes and marketing communications that create a unique character in the minds of travelers. Unfortunately, the language used to describe the hotel brands on the hotel websites does a poor job of creating a unique or highly defensible consumer value proposition. This quiz challenges readers to match a genericized description with the correct hotel brand.
Led by Starwood, with Wyndham and Carlson picking up the rear, the online poll asking participants to match each of 100 hotel brands to the appropriate top 10 global hotel group proved to be challenging, with the average score a woeful C-. With hotel groups adding brands at a record pace, this does not bode well for the future.
The hotel industry is running at record occupancies and rates. However, all the major hotel groups appear to be most interested in creating new hotel brands while business is strong. To see how well this approach is working, here is a brief test – Match the hotel brand with its parent hotel group. Be warned; there are 100 hotel brands for the top 10 hotel groups alone…
Every hotel brand the planet is striving to capture more website traffic and to convert that traffic into hotel guests. What hotel companies are doing the best job online to engage travelers and provide tools for inspiration, research, planning, validation, booking, travel, and sharing to provide an exceptional travel experience?
After radically cutting costs and deferring projects to survive the recession hotel groups are relying on technology to help them maintain operational efficiencies and keep costs low as business volumes return to normal. This hotel industry survey asks for the top business and information technology priorities, plus how any gaps will be bridged over the next 36 months.
K2 Ski Company recently shut down its corporate website and directed all users to its Facebook fan page for an exclusive preview of its new 2010 ski line. Many organizations are getting creative to build Facebook communities, but in some cases, the techniques utilized, while innovative, may cause users to click a Facebook Like Button to access the website. Widely referred to as “Like-bait”, where should the line be drawn that separates clever marketing from something that undermines the value and intended use of Facebook’s Like functionality?