Hotel chains make room for new brands

Hotel chains such as Hyatt, Hilton and Marriott already own so many hotels in major cities that they need to create new hotel brands to keep growing.

Hyatt launched seven new brands across the past ten years.  Hyatt Centric, which the company describes as “a millennial mindset lifestyle”, was launched in 2015.  The company will open its first Tru hotel, a lower-priced boutique brand, this year.

Most of the new brands reflect the changing tastes of new customers.  Millennials in particular make up a growing proportion of new hotel guests.  Talking to the Wall Street Journal, hotel industry researcher R. Mark Woodworth said millennials want hipper, more happening lobbies and restaurants and better technology in rooms.

Differentiating these new brand offerings to make them unique leads to some interesting choices.

For example, Hilton’s latest launch, the 28-property Canopy brand, is all about “a positive stay”.  The brand creates that experience with simple, guest-directed service and thoughtful, local choices.   Key to this approach are staff – renamed “enthusiasts” – under the direction of a “chief enthusiast.”

Canopy guests are greeted with welcome gifts, and invited to a free tasting session of local cuisine every evening.  Their rooms are “thoughtfully designed for your comfort, every detail chosen to calm your nights and refresh your days”.   That includes open closets, fresh filtered water and an airy ambiance.

Marriott’s brand expansion is led by its Moxy line, launched in 2014. Moxy rooms are lower-priced, but are designed with the hip vibe of a W in mind.   Marriott describes its Moxy clients as “fun hunters.” 

One seeming anomaly among the new hotel branding efforts is The Unbound Collection by Hyatt.  Hyatt says these properties will retain their individual identities.

But when a brand’s key collective characteristic is the retention of individual identities, I fear we’re entering the realm of Monty Python.




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