Developing a lifestyle hotel brand for the new business class.
Over the past decade, the hotel industry has experienced the rise of lifestyle hotels as travelers increasingly seek well-designed experiences that reflect who they are and what they uniquely need. With 18 brands in its portfolio, Hilton has continuously innovated to launch new brands that cater to the needs of a diverse set of lifestyles. Yet, heading into 2019, Hilton identified a growing lifestyle segment with untapped needs — a new class of rising business travelers who have yet to reach luxury hotel status, but who aspire for more than midscale basics. How do you build a new lifestyle hotel for a rising class of business travelers at the upscale price tier?
To understand the needs of this new class of travelers, we analyzed segmentation data before getting up-close and personal with our people through in-depth focus groups and co-creation sessions. Over a four-month period, we continued to tap our audience for insight, curating an ongoing digital panel to evaluate strategy and experience concepts at key milestones throughout hotel development.
What did we find? Modern business travelers are defined by their ambition in all aspects of their lives. Yet, business travel currently forces a detour in their pursuit of progress. Physically, guests struggle to eat mindfully, work out and get good sleep. Emotionally, guests face intensified stress as they grind while struggling to look up or unwind. As such, our audience needed spaces for becoming: balanced and uplifting hotel experiences where ambitious modern achievers can keep their pace and continue becoming their best.
With this insight and brand strategy at the center, we collaborated with the Hilton team and partners to identify four signature ideas that would define the hotel experience while delivering on the needs of our people — the Power Down Sleep Collection, the Power Up Craft Coffee Bar, the Get Ready Zone and ‘Look Up’ moments throughout the hotel. Separately, a collection of Hilton partners — from interior design to food and beverage — worked to bring the strategy and promise to life through all aspects of the space and guest experience.
The new brand launched in January 2020 with positive reactions within the industry. It already has 30 commitments with developers to build hotels across the US, including New York, Boston, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and Atlanta.