Best Western Hotels & Resorts has launched its third “soft” brand – BW Signature Collection by Best Western. The new collection is aimed at the upper midscale market while SureStay Collection by Best Western welcomes economy and midscale hotels and BW Premier Collection includes upscale and upper upscale properties. Soft brands are collections of independent hotels that become part of a brand’s booking, loyalty and other systems without having to adhere to brand standards. David Kong, CEO, said an increasing number of hotels in North America and overseas are going independent “because they want flexibility and freedom from brand requirements, but they are also looking for an alternate source of business, a loyalty program and a robust reservation system.” He said no one else is offering a soft brand in the upper midscale segment, providing an opportunity for Best Western, which now operates 11 brands all told.