Which brands hold a true advantage over others?By James Bland
While we consider Brand Margin® to be the missing piece in the brand selection puzzle, it isn’t the definitive measure of brand health. Many of the leaders are less well-known hotel brands that are nonetheless loved by a relatively small group of people.
To get closer to a true measure of a brand’s advantage over its competitors, we believe it’s necessary to consider a brand’s reach. We therefore combined brand familiarity with Brand Margin® to produce our new Brand Advantage metric.
Brand Margin® comparisons in the hotel sector can only really be done within a tier. Brand Advantage, however, uses indices, which allows us to compare across markets as a whole. At the top end, a maximum possible score of 100 would indicate that a brand is not only the most widely known in the country, but delivers the highest premium in its tier. Brand Advantage therefore delivers on the two key objectives of branding – value and, by proxy, volume.
At the lower end, a negative Brand Advantage means a brand is thought to subtract value from the intrinsic product. It’s not common, but it can happen.
Hilton tops the charts in eight out of the nineteen markets assessed, recording second or third place in a further five. It leads the Anglophone world, only missing out to dominant local brands in three of the nine European markets that are included. In China, Hilton trails only Shangri-La (which also leads in South East Asia), while in Brazil it places between ibis in first place and Mercure in third.
AccorHotels, as you might expect, complete a clean sweep in France. France also sees the lowest Brand Advantage scores of any top three, demonstrating that AccorHotels’ brands are almost as strong as each other in their home market. Spain, too, is led by international brands of domestic origin – NH Hotels leading Barceló and Meliá Hotels & Resorts – while India is dominated by Taj, ITC and Oberoi.
Marriott International records two top places with Sheraton (Japan and Argentina/Chile) – a brand that also achieves second place in Australia and Turkey, and third place in Italy. The core Marriott brand only manages second place, doing so in the USA, Russia, Poland and Great Britain, where it beats Premier Inn into third place.
IHG sees its Holiday Inn Express brand take the top spot in Mexico and third place in the USA, while the Holiday Inn core brand registers second place in Italy and Germany, and third in China.
At a tier level, the global chains start to form interesting patterns too. AccorHotels tops most of the economy tiers and a handful of mid-market ones (and the luxury tier in France, of course). IHG is the reverse – Holiday Inn leads the mid-market, with a few top spots for Holiday Inn Express. Hilton dominates the upper full service tier and records a couple of ‘wins’ in the mid-market. Marriott leads the luxury tier and a few markets in upscale.
Want to know more?
Matt Costin will be discussing Brand Advantage and taking the model still further at the Hotel Insights Forum in London on 11th September 2018. Tickets are available now at www.hotelinsightsforum.com.
Brand Advantage reports are now available for Great Britain, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Belgium/Netherlands, Russia, Poland, Turkey, USA, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina/Chile, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Australia and South East Asia. Want to know where you stand? Drop us a line to get your copy.