Pullman adopts ‘bleisure’ brand concept

New Pullman lobby
Pullman’s new check-in desks
Pullman is to embrace the trend of mixed business and leisure use of its properties in its new brand position unveiled in London today.

The upscale hotel brand, part of Accor, is to promote itself as a space for both business meetings and short weekend breaks as it aims to double its network in the next seven years.

“Our key message is that we want guests to “Work Hard, Play Hard” and have an atmosphere which mixes the spirit of business and leisure,” explained Gregiore Champetier, global chief marketing officer at Accor at the London launch. “We want to give them the opportunity to work if they want to, but mainly Pullman hotels are a place to feel well in a cosmopolitan environment.”

The ‘bleisure’ positioning will be displayed through trade training, a series of advertisements and a new ‘ying yang’ logo, while changes will also be made to its public spaces.

“In the hotel industry and destinations, it used to be that each would have pure business and pure leisure customers, but we want guests to feel at ease and be in the appropriate hotel no matter what they are travelling for and we have to capture both those clientele,” added Yann Calliere, CEO of Accor. “Every city has double destination meanings (business and leisure) and these are going better than those that have a single purpose, so we have to adapt to reach to both.”

Its new brand will be realised in a series of new developments in the lobby, food and drink and services, thanks to a tie-up with eight renowned designers. Check-in will be carried out through tablets at free-flowing desks, with an interactive wall in the lobbies that will display local information.

Its restaurant, bar and lounge will be in one open space in the lounge, while its meeting rooms will include a poker table, break zone and ‘secret box’ to keep meetings and events more relaxed.

The design changes come as Accor aims to double its Pullman portfolio by 2020. The brand currently has 79 hotels with 20 added in 2012 and more than 13 due this year including an opening in Belgium next week and one in Sochi, Russia in a few months.

Potential destinations include Istanbul, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Kiev, Liverpool, Edinburgh, while outside Europe its sights are on Uruguay, Rio de Janeiro, Santiago, Bogata and Qatar. Accor has no plans to enter the brand-crowded North America market.

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