The Name Game

Hotel branding has become a big part of hospitality marketing, but what does it really mean for your travel program?
It seems like new hotel brands are launching almost monthly, as the proliferation of brands continues to be one of the highest profile trends in the hospitality space. “The hotel industry is flooded with mergers, acquisitions, new entrants into the market and a multitude of flag changes. Keeping up with all of the brands is challenging, especially now that many of the hotel chains have started segmenting their brands into categories,” says Kim Kearns, senior director, global hotel relations for BCD Travel.

For instance, she cites IHG, which is concentrating on growth in three key segments – mainstream, upscale and luxury. “They announced a new brand, Avid, for the mainstream segment, which includes midscale and upper midscale. And in June, they revealed their new upscale brand, voco,” Kearns says.

“Marriott is also using segments to lessen the confusion on the brands and increase awareness with travelers and agents,” she notes. Marriott’s Starwood acquisition has BCD Travel’s attention, especially with their decision to keep 30 distinct brands.

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