There's been a sea change in terms of how new boutique hotel brands are named: Instead of recycling other brand names (ahem, Clarion Pointe) and looking to active adjectives (hello, Avid and Tru), we've now entered the era of brands on a first-name basis.
Best Western Hotels & Resorts Wednesday announced the launch of two new boutique hotel brands — Sadie Hotel and Aiden Hotel — both being marketed to hotel owners and developers who have existing properties that they want to convert to these new lifestyle-driven brands.
Sadie is being marketed as an upscale brand, while Aiden will be marketed for the upper midscale hotel category. Both categories, especially the midscale space, are highly competitive with new hotel brands.
Just last week, for instance, Choice Hotels debuted its newest midscale brand, Clarion Pointe. Like Sadie and Aiden, it too is geared toward hotel owners who want to update existing properties with new brand identities in the in-demand midscale hotel category.
Best Western uses descriptors like “edgy personalities,” “modern, spirited aesthetic,” and “colorful, imaginative lobbies” to describe its two newest brands, and is appealing to hoteliers by saying the new brands will help them “broaden their customer base, and achieve higher RevPAR” because of their connection to Best Western’s distribution channels, loyalty program, and reservations system.
In a statement, Best Western CEO David Kong said, “Both Sadie Hotel and Aiden Hotel present the opportunity for independent hoteliers or developers with branded hotels to reposition their property in a unique way, taking advantage of our cost-effective, turnkey, and customized design and renovation program.”
With the addition of Sadie and Aiden, Best Western now has a total of 13 different brands at a time when the company is pursuing a major restructuring of its corporate structure, transitioning from a nonprofit organization to a for-profit one in an effort to better compete with other major global hospitality brands.
Given Best Western’s track record with launching new brands, it’ll be interesting to see if these two newest conversion brands can grow more quickly than Best Western’s other new brands to have launched in recent years.
For example, the company announced the debut of its boutique Vib brand back in 2014, but didn’t open its first Vib-branded property until 2017. By contrast, InterContinental Hotels Group announced its newest midscale hotel brand, Avid, last year, and its first property just recently opened, less than a year after the brand was first announced.
As more brands enter the popular upscale and midscale hotel categories, it’ll also become increasingly more challenging for all of them to compete with one another — not just to attract guests but to attract hotel owners as well.
If Best Western wants to ensure the success of these two newest brands, it’ll certainly have to emphasize the power of its system to hotel owners, and make sure these brands are marketed effectively to consumers.
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Photo credit: A rendering of the new upscale boutique brand from Best Western: Sadie Hotel. Best Western Hotels & Resorts