With a wide-range of mergers and acquisitions occurring in the hospitality arena, many of the largest hoteliers have to grapple with the challenge of maintaining and promoting their brands.
In addition, as the brand landscape becomes more crowded, chain flags are now required to work harder and be more focused – but there is room for all, according to a recent panel discussion at the December 2015 Sleep Conference.
One of the key takeaways from the discussion was that a brand remains an “idea that is still magical” in the hospitality arena. However, legacy brands are currently under the most pressure especially in today’s post-acquisition environment where many hoteliers seek to cut costs.
The reality is that hoteliers need additional resources to shepherd their brand propositions, post-acquisition. This comes at a time when many sub-brands (i.e., Aloft Hotels) are intentionally distanced from their parent companies because they want to appeal to travelers seeking a more boutique-like travel experience. This is very common for the highly sought after millennial travelers.
One of the biggest challenges is being able to continually deliver on the brand promise in a rapidly changing marketplace.
“The success of the larger chains’ brands have come about because they have inherently been able to deliver on their promises,” said Mark Jory, founder and owner of creative branding firm Latitude Agency, during the panel. “And the promise of the brand is delivered at every price point.”
This perspective reinforces the value of nurturing a brand for true competitive differentiation. The key is to make sure that every hotel – post-acquisition – has the right resources to keep the “myth and magic” of their brands fully alive.