While not exactly a sea change, the board of directors of one of the world’s most-recognizable hotel brands has decided to give the nearly 70-year-old hotel association a revamped corporate name to better reflect its offerings.
“There was no negativity associated with Best Western International. It was more a matter of: What do we want to be known for?,” said CEO David Kong.
The name change—confirmed to Hotel Business—is one of several major initiatives the lodging chain plans to fully unwrap for its membership during its annual conference being held in Honolulu next week.
Best Western also plans to introduce a seventh brand that would fill a midscale boutique/lifestyle niche, as well as debut a revised master brand logo and new individual brand logos for Best Western, Best Western Plus and Best Western Premier.
The chain is also prepping to launch a new mobile booking experience, including a mobile website and apps for tablets and smartphones, part of a phased approach to its digital platform that, in second quarter next year, will also see a totally new Bestwestern.com website.
According to Best Western executives, the changes—a so-called brand reset—are the result of a decade of accomplishments that has seen the brand morph to a different level in terms of offerings, quality and scope. The shifts are designed to get that message across not only to consumers, but to members and potential members as well.
—Stefani C. O’Connor
For more on this exclusive story, see the Sept. 21 issue of Hotel Business.