Saturday, September 28, 2019

Brand Background Of Starwood And Marriott Marketing Essay

Brand Background Of Starwood And Marriott Marketing Essay A brand enables customers to remember the core information about a product, and prevents competitors from making imitation. (Aaker, 1991). Successful brand building helps profitability by adding value that entices customers to buy (De Chernatony and McDonald, 1994). It is also becoming clearer that companies creating strong brands can obtain important competitive advantage over those that do no (Kohli and Thakor, 1997). Whenever a marketer creates a new name, logo or symbol for a new product, he or she has created a brand (Keller, 2003). According to the American Marketing Association’s definition, brand is a â€Å"name, term, sign, symbol or design, or group of sellers, and to differentiate them from those o f the competition†. Another definition given by Farquhar (Farquhar, 1989) is â€Å"a name, symbol, design or mark that enhances the value of product beyond its functional purposes†. The brand creates a more favorable view of the product, relative to others in the market. If successfully built, a brand will add value for customers, and is the underlying reason for purchase. This can bring profitability to the firm (Laforet, 1996). In this report, two hotel groups were chosen for analysis and comparison with the perspective of branding: Starwood and Marriott, both are the leader in lodging industry. Starwood Hotels & Worldwide, Inc is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with more than 992 properties in approximately 97 countries and 145,000 employees at its owned and managed properties (Starwood). Starwood Hotels is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences. Starwood Hotels also owns Starwood Vacation ownership, Inc, one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts. As one of the largest operators of upper-upscale and luxury hotels, its global portfolio is unmatched. Starwood remains on track to increase its world-wide foot p rint by 20% over the next five years through smart, carefully targeted growth that will expand its presence in the upper upscale and luxury hotel categories, as well as in the vital limited service segment. Exhibit 1 shows all the brands of Starwood, including Luxury full-service hotels, Luxury and upscale full – service hotels, Select-service hotels, extended stay hotels. The company divides its nine brands into four levels: luxury full-service hotels, luxury and upscale full-service, select-service, extended stay. Judging from the room quantity of each brand, the most two popular brands are Sheraton with 392 properties and Westin with 165 properties. The brands with the least sites are St Regis with 19 properties and Element with only 6 properties. It means that there is much less guests knowing St Regis and Elements than the people knowing Sheraton and Westin. Compared with Starwood, Marriott has more than 3150 lodging properties located 69 countries and territories (Marri ott) with 20 brands, including the newest one – Autograph collection, which was announced on 25th January 2010 (hospitalitynet, 2010). Exhibit 2 showed Marriott’s brands, including luxury lodging, full-service lodging, select-service lodging, extended stay lodging and timeshare. Brand has specific purposes, and businesses should invest in it only with specific aims in mind. It is a form of information, and is most valuable where customers have the least specific information, the least ability to obtain information, the least clarity on evaluation criteria, and the least time or inclination to obtain product information (Keller, 2008). Among all the Marriott’s luxury brands, there is only one brand and logo telling people that it is belong to Marriott group. Ritz-Carlton is often thought as an independent company and has no relationship with Marriott. Bulgari is originally a jewelry company and nothing to do with hospitality. It is very creative that the two comp anies became partners and launched a new brand in lodging industry, but it is difficult for people to associate these two brands. And for Edition, it was planned to open the first property in 2010, but so far, the official website ( has not launched any new information.

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