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Holiday Inn Looking To Reinvent Chain

By Expert Author: Steve Robinson

Travelers who value cheap travel deals, including cheap airplane tickets, discount hotel rooms, and cheap vacation packages previously looked at Holiday Inn for great values.

Holiday Inn introduced the concept of roadside inns to America. In August, this hotel chain, owned by Intercontinental Hotels Group, launched its first stand alone marketing campaign in five years.

Its “Change Your View” multimillion dollar campaign is an attempt to reintroduce Holiday Inn to travelers. At one point Holiday Inn was the dominant force in the mid priced hotel market. Today it faces stiff competition from the likes of Courtyard by Marriott, among others.

Holiday Inn has been around for 61 years and its large green signs have become one of the most recognizable signs on major roads. This brand was re-launched over a three year period starting in 2007 with $1 billion spent on marketing, as well as a complete makeover and closing of underperforming hotels.

Unfortunately the makeover went largely unnoticed even though Holiday Inn has been recognized as the top midscale full service chain for three consecutive years by J.D. Power and Associates.

The problem, according to Holiday Inn, is changing the perception of what the chain is today vs. the Holiday Inn guests experienced 10 to 15 years ago. The chain also is determined to do a better job attracting the younger generation.

Yet another goal is to distinguish Holiday Inn from its sister brand, Holiday Inn Express. Currently there are 1,250 Holiday Inns worldwide vs. 2,200 Holiday Inn Expresses.

Holiday Inn Express is a more limited service brand whose brand presence dramatically improved with its humorous “Stay Smart” campaign. These commercials show people successfully completing extraordinary tasks using the punch line “But I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express hotel last night.”

Holiday Inn, overshadowed by its sister brand, is determined to make its appeal clear to travelers. Holiday Inn will be running a “Changing Together” commercial showing guests being treated like family and enjoying their stay whether for leisure or business.

The marketing campaign will focus on renovations such as open public spaces that encourage social interaction, a modern fitness center, communal table style restaurant, and better food and drink options.

Holiday Inn is not looking to rely on a single commercial. Instead it is planning a campaign that will build over the next couple of years to reinvent the brand.

Given that Holiday Inn’s upgrade buzz has run its course and that the chain has completed its brand upgrade, it is determined to let travelers know that the new and improved Holiday Inn is ready for business.
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