Best Western introduces third soft brand Collection
Soft brand collections are a rising trend sweeping through the hospitality industry, one that doesn’t seem poised to go away any time soon.
For those who don’t know, a hard hotel brand is something like Wyndham Grand or a Hilton Hotel, while a soft brand collection would be Trademark or Tapestry, brands that are intended to possess appeal for independent hotel owners and operators who might be reticent to take on a hard brand that would require meeting a set of strict company standards but still want to benefit from large hotel company distribution networks. This is where soft brand collections come in.
In fact, most frequent travelers have likely stayed in one, with other examples include Marriott’s Autograph Collection, Hyatt’s Unbound Collection, Hilton’s Curio Collection and Choice Hotels’ Ascend Hotel Collection, among many other choices.
Recently, Best Western Hotels and Resorts announced that it would be joining its hotel peers by launching its own third hotel soft brand collection: The BW Signature Collection by Best Western, which marks the company’s 11th brand overall and possess trimmings that are the hallmark of luxury travel. The company has two preexisting soft brands, which are SureStay Collections by Best Western and BW Premier Collection. SureStay Collections by Best Western is aimed at the upper economy and midscale traveler, while BW Premier Collection is geared toward upscale and upper upscale guests.
To date, many of the soft brand hotel choices that have debuted have been geared toward luxury and upper upscale hotel guests. However, in recent times that has begun to change, with newer soft brand hotels beginning to target the midscale space. Both Hilton’s newest soft brand, Tapestry Collection, and Wyndham’s first soft brand, Trademark Hotel Collection, would fall into this category. And just last month Red Roof Inn entered the soft brand market with The Red Collection, which targets upscale economy to midscale space.
In a statement, Best Western president and CEO David Kong said, “No one is offering a soft brand in the upper midscale segment right now, so by diversifying our offerings in the space, it is clearly an opportunity for us to capture market share and achieve scale.”
Some would likely argue that Best Western is the lone company offering a soft brand in the upper midscale segment, but it is true that this is still a rare concept within the hospitality space, one that seems poised to become more common in the months and years to come.
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