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Hilton CEO mulls over new lifestyle brand

Profile Photo By: Chief Editor Hospitality News
May 5, 2014

Hilton CEO mulls over new lifestyle brand

Hospitality News: Hilton LogoHilton Worldwide, operator of 10 brands including Conrad and Doubletree by Hilton, is set to launch a new brand ?in the not too distant future,? president and CEO Chris Nassetta has told Hotelier Middle East.

?We are working on some ideas. We will likely do something in the lifestyle space at some point in the future,? he said. ?There?s likely at least one new brand.?

Back in 2009, Hilton Worldwide launched a boutique brand, Denizen, which it was later banned from rolling out as part of a settlement in December 2010 over an industrial espionage suit by Starwood Hotels.

?Starwood said Denizen was designed by two of its former employees who defected to Hilton and took with them confidential material used to develop Starwood’s W chain. At the time, Hilton was ordered to cease development of Denizen and wait two years before developing anything similar.

W arguably leads the international chains in the boutique luxury lifestyle segment, having launched back in 1998, though Marriott is expanding Edition and IHG is moving forward with Hotel Indigo. Carlson Rezidor is the latest global operator to launch in the lifestyle market, with Radisson Red, a ?lifestyle select? brand.

But industry experts are divided as to whether the hotel industry needs more brands from the international operators.

Shaza Hotels CEO Simon Coombs, himself responsible for creating an Arabian brand in partnership with Kempinski, said: ?There are opponents to the ‘supermarket of brands’ approach, and these opponents believe essentially that particularly in the luxury segment, such brand diversification ultimately dilutes the core brand, and if not handled correctly can lead to brand confusion. Similarly, it is interesting to consider the motivation for the creation of this segmentation approach by major brands, which I would argue is driven by the need to grow EBITDA?.

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Source: Louise Oakley (2014). Hilton CEO mulls over new lifestyle brand, Hotelier Middle East published Apr 30, 2014. Viewed May 05, 2014.


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