ACCOR has unveiled a massive shift in its global brand strategy, beginning with the revamp of its economy brands.
The group’s Ibis label will become a mega-brand with three smaller brands under its belt, namely Ibis; Ibis Styles, rebranded from All Seasons; and Ibis Budget, evolving from Etap Hotel and Formule1.
Speaking to TTG Asia e-Daily on the sidelines of Economy Hotels World Asia 2011, Gaurav Bhushan, Accor's senior vice-president and head of development-Asia-Pacific, explained that the group wanted to leverage on the strength of the Ibis brand, while highlighting points of difference within its economy segment.
In a presentation at the conference, he also said that Accor needed to "revitalise the economy segment to meet consumers’ new and fluid expectations". A significant 36 per cent of Accor's portfolio is economy, with more than 900 hotels out of 1,500 already under the Ibis brand.
Some 150 million euros (US$206 million) will be invested into re-inventing its economy hotel products, which will also see hardware improvements such as better beds, public areas, F&B offers and technologies. “Essentially, we want our product to stand out, and we hope this will translate directly into RevPAR,” said Bhushan.
A vast communications campaign will be launched next year to capitalise on the image of the new Ibis mega-brand. The implementation of this new economy segmentation, which will be rolled out simultaneously worldwide from today, is expected to be completed by early 2013.
Another key global branding exercise that Accor will embark on is increasing the visibility for its parent brand.
To this end, a new tagline, Open New Frontiers in Hospitality, was unveiled alongside plans to rename the group’s A|Club loyalty programme as Le Club Accorhotels, closely linking it to its direct distribution channel, Accorhotels.com. Accor will also become an endorsement brand, with a signature, by Accor, to be used in all brand communications in order to strengthen the credibility of its brands.
Bhushan surmised that the tweaks would better enable Accor to communicate with its customers through a singular identity, instead of a patchwork of brands.