With more than 1,000 hotel brands in operation and the biggest hospitality providers expanding their ever-growing portfolios, a recent Skift article asks the question: can hotel companies have too many brands?
The publication used its Skift Forum Europe event as the sounding board for this question to a number of top hotel leaders. The resounding response was “no.” As one participant said, “it’s like being too skinny or too rich.”
Though, in the age of property acquisition to expand their footprints, many leading hospitality providers may find that owning too many brands can create a major challenge – maintaining guest loyalty when there’s just too much to manage.
As highlighted in the article, Radisson is actually taking a different road by focusing on a “less is more strategy.” This approach makes it easier to communicate with consumers and to build brand loyalty by keeping the number of brands relatively small in any one portfolio.
Having the right resources to manage only one brand can be challenging for any major company, especially in an era where guest loyalty can be achieved or lost very rapidly. Further compounding this is the fact that all hotels brands are chasing long-term guest loyalty, which can be too difficult to achieve when the main goal is to grow their portfolios.
Large hospitality providers should consider developing a brand strategy like Toyota. The automotive manufacturer aims to have “life-time” customers who grow and mature with the brand.
For example, a recent college graduate can start with a more cost-effective Scion, then eventually be a driver of a Lexus as their career progresses. Through the entire growth path, Toyota is there with the right vehicle that matches where the consumer is in their life. Many large hoteliers also own multiple brands that can fit into the lifecycle of a traveler as they work their way up the corporate ladder.
Overall, balancing business expansion with brand nurturing efforts can be very challenging. There is no magic bullet for creating and maintaining brand loyalty. The best option is to not forget to invest in the right innovations and talent that help propel a brand into the future.