Thursday . June 20 . 2019
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Starwood gets a grip on branding
Raini Hamdi, Singapore  (2006-01-09)

FRESH from its acquisition of Meridien, Starwood is promising brand differentiation and aggressive growth through management and franchising, president Asia-Pacific Mr Miguel Ko, in an interview with TTG Asia, says.

The chain is holding a brand summit today (January 9) in San Diego, following deliberations in the last 12 months to clearly differentiate each of its brands.

Global hotel brands have come under fire for copying each other and confusing customers by having no distinct positioning and different standards in different regions.

Mr Ko said: "We want guests to look at the brand beyond the physical aspects, or even service. When they enter a Westin, even if they are blindfolded, they should be able to tell that it is a Westin perhaps because the scent is different. Guests can live or breathe the brand when they enter our hotel"

Starwood is also eyeing aggressive growth this year. For the first time, it is seriously using franchising as a means to grow. The chain will focus on Japan, Korea, China and India for franchising and with brands such as Four Points by Sheraton and Aloft, Starwood's latest brand.

- Full report in TTG Asia, From The Top, January 13

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