The top 10 hotel brands in FranceBy Jude Bissert
After 15 months of upheaval and uncertainty, the hotel industry needs all the help it can get. A good starting point is to understand what potential customers are thinking. Has anything changed in terms of perception, brand value, choice drivers, booking behaviours?
The French Hotel Guest Survey tracks over 130 brands and utilises a number of key indicators to produce the annual Brand Ranking Index. This index delivers a comprehensive line in the sand assessment of the brand landscape and will help inform marketing and sales activity at all levels.
#10 ibis Styles
Struggling to maintain position
ibis Styles suffers a drop of two spots in the Brand Ranking Index for 2020. Despite positive movement in unaided awareness among leisure travellers, a -5 drop in the same measure among business travellers takes the brand down to 10th place. Strong overall awareness is still largely due to its ‘ibis’ forename, and the lack of business travel in 2020 will also contribute to the negative score in that market. Other fluctuations are minor with no major causes for concern, but any targeted activity must be directed at the re-ignition of brand loyalty amongst the business travel segment.
#=8 Best Western
Strong improvement in the Brand Ranking Index
Despite the incredibly turbulent year, Best Western has weathered the brand ranking storm, seeing a very healthy shift in all measures bar leading choice among leisure travellers. These results have led to a healthy three-spot rise in the overall rankings. The encouraging uplift in leading choice measures among business travellers and awareness among the leisure audience is a welcome sight and something to capitalise on. Best Western ought to be wary of is the slight underperformance in the mid-market Brand Margin measure, although the gap has reduced year on year.
A stellar performance in 2020
Within a landscape crowded by an established and varied economy provision, Kyriad continues to place well in the Brand Ranking Index. Up two spaces to 8th in an uncertain year shows its resilience in a noisy marketplace. With core measures actually staying static or even in decline, the main influencer, in this case, is the increase in awareness among leisure travellers. In addition to the climb up the Brand Ranking Index, Kyriad holds its own among its economy tier companions in the Brand Margin rankings, tracking slightly above the average. Overall, Kyriad is well-placed to take any imminent recovery by the horns, and its focus should be on turning the business traveller back around.
#7 ibis Budget
A disappointing fall but maintains a top 10 place
A rather disappointing set of results for this economy brand sees a drop of two positions in the Brand Ranking Index, driven by a fairly static set of results. Total awareness among the business travellers is the only marker that has improved, and that by just one point. The French economy market is a very crowded space making it hard to truly differentiate against competitors. It seems there’s a risk of ibis Budget falling into this trap unless points of uniqueness are found and shouted about.
Jumps up to 6th place
Hilton improves its ranking. Despite a year fraught with pandemic fallout, this titan of the hotel market has managed to maintain a strong position and an even stronger Brand Margin position, outperforming the average by EUR 7.42 (up from 2019). Positive moves across most awareness measures outweigh the one-point decline in leading choice indicators among both leisure and business travellers.
#5 B&B Hotels
A balanced performance amongst both business and leisure travellers
Driven by positive shifts in leading choice measures among both business and leisure travellers, B&B, another strong economy operator, has jumped up one spot to 5th. Unaided awareness remains static and total awareness takes a drop of just one point. Both business and leisure markets have contributed equally to this year’s results meaning any recovery focus must be equally positioned across the board. Brand Margin scores have suffered ever so slightly, with a slight drop year on year versus the average.
No change for the ever-present economy player
This ever-stoic behemoth of the French economy tier has retained its strong position in the Brand Ranking Index for 2020. Despite a slight dip in all measures among business travellers and a static outcome among leisure visitors, the outlook remains positive provided they can weather the undoubted storm of targeted campaigns from competitors as we begin to move out of ‘pandemic mode' and into recovery.
Improvements across most measures
There is little movement at this end of the index. Novotel, one of the perennially strong market leaders, remains at number three. Measures among business travellers have marginally improved for leading choice and unaided awareness, showing the resilience of a strong brand. The leisure traveller responses are a little more mixed with improving awareness measures but a drop in leading choice. Brand Margin scores slip slightly below average too. Despite the shifts, a strong performance during a tough trading year.
Loses out to its sister brand
Ibis concedes its number one spot to a sister brand but sits pretty at second in the brand ranking index for 2020. Scores remain essentially static among both business and leisure travellers. With all three ibis brands in the top ten, you can safely assume that the ibis name is achieving maximum awareness with its domestic audience. The Brand Margin index scores are still above the industry average, but the margin by which this is true has dipped marginally year on year.
Claims the top spot from its stablemate…
Mercure slides into the top position to claim the French Brand Ranking crown for 2020. This is in no small part due to positive shifts in awareness and leading choice among leisure travellers. Performance among the business segment is also strong with year on year improvement for awareness and a static result for leading choice. Brand Margin performance has also improved year on year, confirming an all-around stellar performance and result.