November 14, 2019

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Trends In Hotel Branding: Hyper-Specificity

It’s long been said that a successful brand understands its audience. This has been true of hotels, as the major internationally-branded hotel operating companies have developed and continue to develop various brands to service and cater to a wide array of guests and their specific preferences and assumed preferences. These hotels often have a variety of brands, and each brand is intended to target a particular type of customer (for example, a business traveler, the millennial traveler, the independent vacation traveler) at a particular price point. More recently, and with the entry of many non-traditional hotel competitors into the market, it has become increasingly important for hotel brands to target customers more precisely and directly.

Many brands have developed specific themes to set themselves apart and attract specific customer segments. One major demographic that virtually all hotel brands seek are millennials. Some brands design properties to encourage social interaction between guests outside of the guest room through live music and communal pool tables, while keyless entry and free Wi-Fi appeal to the technologically-inclined and connected young traveler.  Then there are the health conscious or “wellness” hotels.  A stay in these hotels might include organized morning runs, complimentary yoga mats in each room, 24-hour gym access, healthy food options, and aerobics channels presented every time you turn on your television.

This trend toward increased theme specificity is global in scope and appeal. Recently, Australian Patrick Landman of GreenShoes Hospitality wrote an article titled, “How to Develop a Successful Hotel Concept.”  In his article, Landman writes that the “legacy form of segmentation was simple: business or pleasure. But, it’s not enough in this day and age. To be effective, it must go much further. Holistic, deep segmentation will go a long way towards informing your hotel concept.” Landman further discusses a hotel’s need to understand what makes it distinctive and combining a hotel’s best attributes to provide a unique experience and concept.

Developing a strong and focused theme will remain crucial to owners and hotels alike, to find ways to distinguish themselves from the increasing list of competitors in the industry. This trend appears to be only getting stronger as technology develops and globalization continues. 

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About this Author

Nelson Migdal, Greenberg Traurig Law Firm, Washington DC, Real Estate Law Attorney
Shareholder

Nelson F. Migdal is Co-Chair of the Hospitality Practice. He focuses his practice on the acquisition and disposition of hotels, hotel operations and management, franchising, licensing and branding, development and finance, large mixed-use projects, hotel management agreements, licensing agreements, commercial real estate acquisition and sale, and commercial leasing.

He has prepared and reviewed management and franchise agreements, purchase and sale agreements, multiple building covenants, and other documents related to the acquisition, financing...

202-331-3180
Nicholas Palmer, Greenberg Traurig Law Firm, Washington DC, Real Estate Law Attorney
Associate

Nicholas N. Palmer focuses his practice on commercial real estate and hospitality matters. He represents clients in connection with the acquisition, disposition, financing, development and leasing of office, retail and mixed use buildings. Nicholas also represents clients in connection with the acquisition, disposition, management, franchising, licensing and branding of hotels and resorts. He regularly prepares and negotiates various real estate agreements, including purchase and sale agreements, leases, hotel management agreements and numerous other documents in connection with the acquisition, disposition, financing, development, management and leasing of real property.  

Nicholas has also served as a court-appointed Guardian ad Litem for abused and neglected children in juvenile dependency cases.

202.530.8547