The hotel industry should refine its definition of 'brand'

Brands are being seen differently by industry insiders and travelers. It's time to bridge this gap.

May 6, 2024

In the hotel industry, only a few big brands matter to consumers. These include Marriott International, Hilton, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Accor, InterContinental Hotels Group, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, and third-party booking brands like Expedia,, and Airbnb.

Key takeaways

  • Most other brands are seen as sub-brands for operational and logistical purposes;
  • Tru by Hilton got a lot of attention recently, but its success seems more because of the "Hilton" name than the "Tru" brand.
  • Hilton's distribution and loyalty programs are key to its growth and attractiveness;
  • Launching a new brand is like creating a soft brand collection because distribution channels are so important.

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