Cundari Breakfast of Champions: Best Managed Hotel Brands

Earlier this morning Cundari gathered a number of executives from the hospitality industry to share the results from a North American-wide study that surveyed close to 2,000 marketing professionals about the drivers of effective brand management in the hotel category, and what the best-managed brands — the champions — are doing to stay ahead in today’s challenging environment.

“In dealing with the economics of the last couple of years and the re-setting of luxury to be more relevant, anyone can cut costs,” said Tim Terceira, General Manager, The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto. “However, what takes real talent is to be more efficient and effective in using your resources so that what your guests expect from luxury is still very much present.”

“The luxury guest has changed as a result of a prolonged global recession,” said Mary Newman, EVP of Brand Strategy, Insight and Innovation at Cundari. “Based on the trends we’re seeing, we think that 2010 marks the start of the ‘Decade of Discretion,’ creating a completely new set of values among luxury hotel guests.”

Below are a few additional notes from the event:

“We live in a world of brands, and when a brand becomes complacent, we lose customers” – Garry Lee, Chief Strategic Officer, Cundari
“You have to be on all the time” – Garry Lee, Chief Strategic Officer, Cundari

Top Ten Best Managed Luxury Hotel Brands (Canada):

  1. Ritz-Carlton
  2. W Hotels
  3. Four Seasons
  4. Fairmont
  5. Hyatt
  6. Hilton
  7. Westin
  8. Delta
  9. Mariott
  10. InterContinental
  11. Crowne Plaza
  12. Loews
  13. Wyndham
  14. Sheraton

Top Ten Best Managed Luxury Hotel Brands (United States):

  1. Ritz-Carlton
  2. Four Seasons
  3. W Hotels
  4. Westin
  5. Mariott
  6. Fairmont
  7. InterContinental
  8. Wyndham
  9. Crowne Plaza
  10. Sheraton
  11. Loews
  12. Delta

Is your brand substitutable?

The more effort you put into knowing the customer and then delivering on what they want the longer you can be in a relationship with them. A number of examples were shared throughout the event of customers who had a certain level of customer service they expected and demanded from brands they choose. While in line for a flight, one Porter customer turned to Twitter to express their dissatisfaction, by the time that same customer made their way to the check-in counter the issue had been resolved due to a Porter employees on their communications team monitoring the brand and alerting the check-in clerk.

Sandals, a Cundari client recently held a customer appreciate event where they invited 50 clients to attend an exclusive VIP reception held in the Toronto harbor, part of the criteria for attendees was that they had to stay at Sandals one-hundred times within a given time period. These were customers that the luxury resort knew by name, and every detail about their habits and desires which turned them into customers for life.

How To Create A Best Managed Brand?

  1. The brand consistently delivers on its promise
  2. Positing is clear and meaningful
  3. Clean and consistent communications strategy
  4. Targeting the right market segments
  5. Clean and attractive brand personality
  6. Always improving brand experiences
  7. Developing a loyal following