Our minds aren't in the gutter. We just think a name should mean something. Hotels and their consultants have become so focus-group centric that they are coming up with lazy names.
If you’re a global hotel chain without a new lifestyle brand, the conventional wisdom is that your brand family is missing something.
But what it’s likely not missing is an ambiguous name that is contemporary, inoffensive, and sleek in a way that only a modern, focus-grouped product can be. Unlike the brands named after the hospitality titans that built them — like Conrad Hilton and J. Willard Marriott — the new lifestyle hotel brands come with one- or two-syllable names that can be easily confused with any other consumer product. Where’s are the new Ritz-Carltons and St. Regises that evoke time, place, and history with their names? We’d even settle for a new W, with its cheeky use of the letter in all of the signage and messaging at the properties.
Hilton’s entry into the market sounded just like a birth control product to us. Entries from Loews, Hyatt, and Marriott have similarly sleek names that are one step removed from a generic product name that’s either mid-sized sedan or pharmaceutical product. This, naturally, got us thinking about other lifestyle brand names.
Take the Quiz
The quiz below will test your knowledge of the new brands. Is it a lifestyle hotel or a condom brand? Or maybe even both?
Read more about why every hotel chain wants in on the lifestyle craze.
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Photo credit: This could be an ad for anything. Photo courtesy Canopy by Hilton / Hilton Hotels