Best Western represents over 4,000 independent hotels worldwide and 280 in the UK. Each hotel has to meet strict quality controls but they are free to express themselves and run their business as they see fit. In the UK Best Western was struggling for identity. Brand tracking showed a mediocre and stagnant performance whilst the budget and luxury sectors expanded. Stuck in the middle of the road and in danger of getting run over by the budget hotel train. People weren’t talking about Best Western!
280 hotels, from 12th century castles, to modern city centre hotels makes consistency a challenge. This is exacerbated by the fact that the people working in the hotels aren’t employed by Best Western.
Define the target customer
Working with the data and detailed insight we were able to define the target customer. The growth of budget hotel brands was creating a sea of sameness. It wouldn’t matter which town, city or region you were in, every hotel looked and felt the same. For those independent mind travellers this corporate box approach didn’t appeal. This became the target customer of Best Western
Re-position the brand
A new position focused on celebrating independence and all the amazing hotel stories was created. Stories of hotels with their own vineyard to stories of great service were all brought to life in the new strapline. Hotels with personality.
This was more than a new strapline, it was a whole new way of thinking. It was about celebrating the independence of the hotels and differentiating Best Western from all other hotel brands. ‘Hotels with personality’ had to be more than just a strapline it had to be delivered through the customer experience.
Design and implement the customer experience
- Designing the optimum customer journey
- Defining the customer promise
- Introducing a strategy focused on personalisation across digital and physical touch points.
- Training thousands of people who worked across Best Western in delivering the personality experience. This was no easy task with 280 independent hotels.
- Measuring the commercial impact of the experience
The whole strategy created real value for the brand, customers, hotels and delivered a significant commercial return. Result highlights:
- 22:1 Return on investment
- £11m incremental revenue growth in year 1
- Net Promoter Score increased by 7.4%
- Employee engagement increased 346%
- 91% increase in Brand Index
- Trip Advisor comments improved