With an ever-proliferating number of hotel brands delivering what seem like similar messages, what’s a marketer to do? At Hyatt, which itself operates multiple brands, the strategy revolves around distinguishing each one in unique ways.
That approach came into play recently with two brands -- Park Hyatt and Hyatt Centric -- at different ends of the price spectrum.
The brand at the upper end of the market, Park Hyatt, has partnered with National Geographic to pair well-known photographers with loyal Hyatt guests to showcase how luxury is personal to those particular guests.
Heather Geisler, vice president of full-service global brands, said Park Hyatt was looking to associate with another brand with credibility in the personal luxury space, and National Geographic seemed like an ideal fit.
Together, the brands identified “globalists” -- Park Hyatt guests in the top tier of the company's loyalty program -- and asked them to share stories of their personal travel. Geisler said the response was “amazing,” and two globalists were selected and asked to provide travel mementos. One globalist was a collector of toles, a type of artwork; and the other had an interest in Japanese tea ceremonies.
Then Nat Geo photographers met with each of these globalists in their homes, interviewed them and got their stories, now being told in text and photos on National Geo’s web site as well as multiple social media channels. National Geographic has the largest following of any company on Instagram, claimed Geisler.
There is more to the campaign, including copies of National Geographic magazine with a cover sheet in every room. Park Hyatt has also organized by-invitation-only walking tours with photographers, with guests bringing their own cameras to take pictures under professional guidance.
Hyatt Centric, a “cool” and more affordable brand in the Hyatt orbit, has partnered with Sofar Sounds — which puts on small pop-up concerts globally — and Spotify, to run concerts in and out of hotels that showcase local rising talent.
Geisler said Hyatt Centric is about “exploration” and creating social sharing moments, and this effort is aimed at introducing hotel guests to the local community and culture through music. The brand has hosted nine concerts so far around the world which, said Geisler, “gives us an amazing platform as a brand.” 7,000 people overall applied to attend via a lottery for nine concerts, each accommodating only 50 to 100, reflecting the demand. Tickets were carved out for hotel guests and World of Hyatt loyalty members.
In addition, playlists are being promoted on social and digital channels as well as Spotify. When guests check, in they get a link to the playlist.
The beauty of both these programs, said Geisler, is that they are targeted to the guest profile of each brand. The Park Hyatt guest is very different from the Hyatt Centric guest, said Geisler, “and we need to understand what they’re looking for and deliver on their expectations.” Every time a traveler comes in, said Geisler, “we will help them discover more about the destination or themselves.”
It’s now accepted that a hotel stay goes way beyond a room, a restaurant and a fitness center. Guests have come to expect a few memories, often personal contacts or cultural experiences, that they can take away with them -- along with the bathroom toiletries.