January 21, 2010
1. Describe briefly and critique the branding strategy that Westin launched in August 1999 that resulted in sleep, bath, and fitness experience. 2. Critique the process that Westin used to develop their new lifestyle brand. Explain whether you think the branding strategy will be successful. 3. Page one of the case says that the Westin Hotel owners and franchisees objected to spending more money on branding. If you were the Westin corporate brand manager responsible for the new lifestyle branding effort what would you say to these owners to “sell” the new branding idea to them? The answers:
1. Describe briefly and critique the branding strategy that Westin launched in August 1999 that resulted in sleep, bath, and fitness experience. The branding strategy that Westin launched in August 1999 was aimed at shifting its focus from “the bricks and mortar of the hotels”, which the entire industry including Westin, had been executing, to the experience inside the hotel. The goal of this strategy was to create the brand differentiation for Westin, which was believed to help build better brand preference and loyalty for Westin in the short run and make it the number one brand in the upper upscale market in the long run. Knowing that customers in the upscale segment, mainly consisting of frequently-travelling executives, had not been happy with the current industry services as they considered hotels simply “accommodation” without emotional attachment, Westin wanted to change this perception by making its hotel rooms become a more “home away from home” look and feel. Also knowing that customer insights was the key to success, Westin conducted different surveys (i.e., the first one with 600 executives or another one with 1,000 travelers in 2001) to address the unmet needs. As a result, insights learned from these surveys such as 63% of...