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Monday 20 January 2020

How many brands does one hotel group need?

Global hotel chain Hilton has announced it is to introduce yet another new brand - its 18th.

Joining brands like Doubletree, Conrad and Waldorf Astoria, Tempo by Hilton will be targeted at "a growing segment of modern achievers" and will be "an approachable lifestyle brand' that has been designed with input from experts in the well-being, food and other lifestyle spheres." 

Hilton CEO Christopher J Nassetta said: "Tempo by Hilton is the latest example of our ability to anticipate what our guests are looking for.

"I think this will be one of our larger brands in the US - and ultimately globally."

He says there could be as many as 500 locations for Tempo over the long term.

Confirmed locations for new hotels so far include New York, Maui, Los Angeles, Nashville, San Diego, Houston and Atlanta.

Rooms will be "reinvigorating and relaxing" with "cocoon-like beds featuring wraparound headboards". 

Hotels will have a complimentary tea and coffee bar in the lobby (why not in the rooms?), a casual café and craft cocktails.

Each location will also feature versatile meeting space for small groups or social events.

The trouble is that the image offered to the media looks like any generic hotel room - and Nassetta is merely spouting hotel speak.
I can see nothing in the publicity blurb that merits a new brand. It sounds just like any other mid-scale chain to me. 

Tempo will be part of Hilton's loyalty program as well as the Travel with Purpose sustainability program.

The first Tempo by Hilton hotel is expected to open in mid-2021.

But at least Hilton still has a long way to go to match French chain Accor, which at my last count had 35 different brands in its voluminous portfolio.

These include Raffles, Fairmont and Sofitel; MGallery, Pullman, Sofitel, Swissotel, Novotel, Mercure and ibis. 

In my opinion all these brands just lead to confusion among consumers - but this has nothing to do with consumers. It's all about enticing investors with something new. 

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