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Study Says Hilton, Marriott, Four Seasons are Most Relevant Hotel Brands

Friday February 15th, 2013 - 1:02PM

BOSTON— A conversational relevance study by Brodeur Partners measured brand resonance across thousands of online conversations and found that Hilton, Marriott and Four Seasons topped out in that order.

"We wanted to go beyond speculation and opinion, and really see what drives online behavior—in this case, conversation—around different hotel brands," said Brodeur Partners CEO Andy Coville in a statement.

According to the study, the three brands have the highest conversational relevance in online discussions among leisure and business travelers. The conclusion is based on an analysis by Brodeur Partners and MavenMagnet of what is "relevant" in online brand conversation. Brodeur and MavenMagnet parsed more than 18,000 online conversations between May 2012 and October 2012 across social networks, profiles, forums, news websites and blogs.

"We looked not only at practical considerations, but at how the brands resonated with hotel guests' senses, values and social needs, which are the other dimensions of Brodeur's relevance model," said Jerry Johnson, Brodeur EVP of strategic planning, in a statement. "When a brand is engaging all four dimensions, it inspires strong feelings and an abiding loyalty in those who experience it."

The top hotel brands in the analysis displayed highly positive overall scores based on positive/negative buzz differential, with Hilton earning a 58% score followed by Marriott at 56% and Four Seasons at 51%.

The analysis further broke down results between leisure and business travelers. Room cleanliness, for example, means more to business travelers than leisure travelers, according to the company.

Leisure travelers were broken down further still, between those traveling with children and those without. The Ritz-Carlton was particularly popular in conversations in the former category, and recreation was paramount for families.

The study also concluded the following: Service and location are the biggest "functional" conversation drivers; Accessibility—both to the hotel and nearby amenities—drives nearly two-thirds of online conversations about the "functional" attributes of a hotel; room size matters, closely followed by connectivity and technology; the subject that most people talked about in the "touch" or "feel" category was the shower, specifically the water pressure of the shower; and business travelers find importance in whether a hotel is considered "best in class," while social relevance for leisure travelers derives more from peer reviews.