INTERNATIONAL REPORT—Hilton is the world’s most valuable hotel brand, according to independent brand valuation consultancy Brand Finance’s “Hotels 50 2019” report.
Hilton’s brand value growth (up 17% to $7.4 billion) was largely driven by strong revenue increase over the last year, cementing the brand’s leadership position in the industry.
Meanwhile, Marriott suffered a reduction in brand value (down 8% to $5 billion) and its brand strength dropped from AAA- to AA+.
“Hilton’s strategic approach to brand growth has allowed it to extend its lead as the world’s most valuable hotel brand,” said Savio D’Souza, valuation director at Brand Finance. “At the same time, endorsement from the flagship brand has rendered benefits across the portfolio as Homewood Suites, DoubleTree and Hampton have seen their brand values soar. In its centennial year, Hilton is well-positioned for another hundred years of success.”
The combined value of all Hilton brands, which made this year’s top 50 ranking, amounts to $14.7 billion—nearly $2 billion more than Marriott’s $12.9 billion portfolio. Hilton Worldwide Holdings achieved overall brand value growth of 41%.
Hilton’s brand value in the top 50 ranking is concentrated across six brands, up from five in 2018, all strongly leveraging the Hilton brand name and each recording solid growth this year. Hilton has continually committed to its expansion program and with thousands of new rooms and hotels in the pipeline; the company shows no signs of slowing down in the coming year, according to Brand Finance.
Four of Marriott’s brands dropped out of the Brand Finance Hotel 50 ranking this year. With one new entrant, Marriott now has twelve brands in the ranking, many of which have nevertheless decreased in value, according to the firm. Marriott’s recent announcement of entering the home-rental market however, is a promising move to take back market share from Airbnb and could contribute to an uplift in brand value in the coming year.
The Hilton and Marriott portfolios remain ahead of third-ranked Wyndham, which had a drop of 8% in brand value to $7.3 billion.
The three hotel brands to grow the fastest in value this year all come from Hilton’s portfolio, and each contributed to its overall growth. Their performance was led by Homewood Suites (brand value up 99% to $0.8 billion), followed closely by DoubleTree (up 79% to $2.1 billion) and Hampton (up 78% to $3.2 billion). This growth allowed the latter two brands to reshape the ranking’s top 10, with DoubleTree jumping from 17th to 7th and Hampton rising from 10th to 5th place over the past year.
Aside from calculating overall brand value, Brand Finance also determines the relative strength of brands through a balanced scorecard of metrics evaluating marketing investment, stakeholder equity and business performance. Alongside revenue forecasts, brand strength is a crucial driver of brand value.
According to these criteria and scoring high in Brand Finance market research, Mercure has claimed the title of the world’s strongest hotel brand, significantly improving its Brand Strength Index (BSI) score from 75.7 to 86.2 out of 100 and recording a brand rating upgrade from AA+ to AAA. Mercure is also the most valuable brand in Accor’s portfolio, with nearly 800 hotels. The brand has continued to make several acquisitions through its scheme of franchise growth.