Wyndham remakes economy brand
Wyndham Hotel Group is elevating the economy brand.
The hospitality giant, which has nearly 8,000 properties worldwide, has unveiled a plan to transform all 16 of its brands, many of them in the economy and midscale range.
After an 18-month study, Wyndham is kicking off a refresh that will include new guestroom prototypes and a marketing campaign to let travelers know of the changes.
“We believe travel is about creating lasting memories, but given what’s currently available in the market, travelers are forced to compromise enriching experiences because of price,” says Josh Lesnick, Wyndham’s chief marketing officer. “It’s time for the hospitality industry to get democratization right. It’s not just about value for money, it’s about the freedom to explore your world the way you want. Wyndham Hotel Group’s transformation enables that freedom.”
Each brand will have a new “promise” to the guest. For instance, Super 8 will become “An American Road Original.” As part of that change, Super 8 owners have gotten rid of the old art that decorates rooms and replaced them with photographs of iconic scenes from each destination.
Travelodge will become “Your Basecamp for Adventure.” Wyndham is recognizing the centennial of the National Park System and curating experiences for guests to explore nearby national parks.
The company is planning to improve the guest experience with better bedding, technology, and design.
For instance, Wyndham Garden properties will now have more serene spaces that can be used for work and play. Front desks will be less uptight and more approachable.
“It’s a mindset shift for us,” said Geoff Ballotti, CEO of Wyndham Hotel Group. “We’ve been leading in this space forever. We want to continue to constantly raise our game.”
The new campaign builds on changes made in recent years. For instance, the Wyndham Rewards program now honors loyal guests by letting them redeem points for experiences and stays for 15,000 points across the board.
In general, the company is trying to improve the guest experience through partnerships with apps, services and even chefs. As an example, Wyndham Garden properties now have cold brew parlors at select locations, capitalizing on the iced coffee trend.
The company has also gotten rid of more hotels that do not meet their standards than ever in the last two years. At the same time, it has added more than 650 new hotels, built from the ground up, to its pipeline.
“We’re unlocking the potential of our iconic brands,” said Ballotti. “It’s time.”
Like many other hotel companies, Wyndham is also trying to appeal to a younger traveler, those of the Millennial generation who appreciate design and experiences at an affordable price. But the company is not creating a brand for Millennials, as many other companies have done.
“We are positioning an entire portfolio for them,” says Lisa Checcio, vice president of marketing and insights. “We haven’t chosen one brand just for them.”
The changes will roll out beginning this summer.
This article first appeared in www.usatoday.com