Wyndham brands more of its hotels “by Wyndham”
Wyndham Hotel Group is firmly putting its stamp on more hotel brands in its portfolio by adding the “by Wyndham” suffix to the end of the brand or group name. We take a look at the pros and cons of this strategy, and what it means for Wyndham and its portfolio.
Family of brands
Hotel group Wyndham plans to rename a significant portion of its brands by adding “by Wyndham” to the end of the name. This change will affect 84% of the group’s portfolio, which translates to 7,074 out of 8,500 hotels. Many of the brands affected are franchises and include Super 8, Days Inn, Howard Johnson, Travelodge, AmericInn, Baymont, Ramada, Ramada Encore, Dolce, Dazzler, Esplendor, and Trademark. The parent group already has tacked its name onto the end of some of its other brands; Wingate, Microtel, Hawthorn Suites and TRYP all use the “by Wyndham” ending in their names. This is not an uncommon strategy for big name brands, and Wyndham, IHG and Hilton have been tacking their name onto their smaller hotel groups for some time now, and the trend doesn’t look like it’s slowing down any time soon.
Benefits and challenges
One of the most obvious benefits of adding the parent group’s name to the end of smaller brands is to create a greater awareness of the bigger company. This allows customers, especially those who are members of Wyndham’s loyalty scheme, to easily identify which hotels are operated by the company, making it easier for them to cash in on their loyalty points. Wyndham’s loyalty program bills itself as appealing to “everyday travelers”, which has proven to be a successful pitch, as the scheme has over 55 million members. These members can avail of Wyndham’s offerings across all categories of their hotels, from budget to upscale offerings.
However, this too provides a challenge when it comes to adding the “by Wyndham” addendum to the name. It might make it difficult to differentiate between brands and where they sit on the spectrum of services. Wyndham operates such household brand names as Super 8 and Days Inn, which are associated with budget travel, but it is also responsible for the upper-scale Wyndham Grand brand, so keeping a common Wyndham thread through these hotels of differing service levels may prove tricky if the Wyndham name is associated with each. Makarand Mody, an academic working in hospitality marketing at Boston University, said, “The addition of the Wyndham name requires a careful management of customer expectations. The Wyndham brand is most closely associated with select service properties that are a notch above several of the brands that the endorsement is being added to, such as Super 8. So it is natural for customers to expect more, expect a scaled up experience than before, which is something that the brand may not necessarily want to provide.”
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