Facing the Big-Brand-Juggernaut: How to Compete Against the Big-Guys
By Laurence Bernstein Managing Partner, Protean Strategies | June 21, 2015
Here are a few numbers that should strike terror in the hearts of all true hotel marketers…and more so in the hearts (do they have them?*) of hotel investors:
492: the number of hotel chains according to Hotelnet
442: the number of hotels Starwood will be opening under their banners in the next 3 years, according to the Starwood website
200: the number of hotels Marriott will be opening in the next three years, according to eturbonews
And a few names that might stir some terror in the hearts of some (probably mostly the owners at this stage): Virgin (for other reasons), AC by Marriott, Tommie, Vib (really?), Canopy, OE Collection, Graduate, Moxy, Venu, Jen, Radisson Red, Pendry, RL – these are all new brands in 2014! (Hotel Chatter, October 2014). Add to this: Curio, 1 Hotels and Resorts, Baccarat. There are more, but the point is well made.
Not known and unknowable: the number of hotel properties branded by hotel brands included in the above numbers. Sadly, nobody has the time or interest to calculate this number, possibly because by the time they would have added up all the hotels in all the chains, the chains would have added new hotels, debranded old hotels, switched brands, or started entirely new brands. It would be, as they say, a truly sisyphusian task.
All of which goes to prove that the brand juggernaut is indeed something to be scared of if you're an independent.
But, it can be done! In the next little while we'll look at the reasons behind brandomania and how unbranded hotels can, if they are prepared to work hard and believe, beat brandzilla at its own game.
Why the Brand Proliferation?