IHG to “freshen up” Crowne Plaza brand
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Inter Continental Hotels Group (IHG) has revealed plans for a major global repositioning of its Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts brand. Speaking at the Americas Investors & Leadership Conference in Las Vegas, the hotel giant’s CEO, Richard Solomons outlined a new, three-pronged strategy.
“Crowne Plaza is in good shape with a solid foundation for future growth, and we have much to be proud of. This is the fourth largest up scale hotel brand in the world, with a strong pipeline for future growth, and it generates US$3.5 billion in gross revenues for IHG globally,” Solomons told approximately 5,000 delegates at the conference. “Crowne Plaza is a top priority for IHG, and the time is now to differentiate the brand from its competitors in a meaningful and relevant way.”
The three phases of the repositioning are defined as ‘Freshen Up’, ‘Move Up’ and ‘Shine’. The Freshen Up phase will focus on raising product quality and consistency, driving revenue and performance across the portfolio, and launching a new brand identity with a modern look and feel. This phase is already under way and will continue into 2012.
The second phase, Move Up, is aimed at delivering enhanced products and services for guests. Activities will include a new global service training programme, development and distribution in major gateway cities and resort markets, increasing trial and brand awareness, and delivering on key drivers of guest satisfaction. This will be the brand focus throughout 2012 and 2013.
In the final Shine phase, Crowne Plaza is planned to be “clearly differentiated from competitors through new and innovative brand hallmarks”. While the details of this phase were not revealed, the company said they will be tested across the globe between 2013 and 2015.
“The Crowne Plaza global portfolio has doubled since 2003 to nearly 400 hotels, and our global pipeline has increased four-fold to 115 hotels,” said Janis Cannon, Crowne Plaza’s Vice President of Global Brand Management. “Momentum is building for Crowne Plaza, and the future is bright.”