When even Apple, an icon of high technology, makes moves to become what tech analysis site Stratechery called a fashion house, you know there’s something major afoot in branding. For those who haven’t read it, an important article, “Apple’s Team of Tastemakers” appeared in the New York Times recently about the company’s hires of tastemakers from Yves St.Laurent and Burberry to the addition of Beats’ founders Dr Dre and Jimmy Iovine for top management positions. Their mandate is to remake the marketing strategy.
What is this about? Design and fashon that are leading the lifestyle charge. We see this across product categories and price points. If anything, expect it to accelerate with marketers’ attention turning increasingly to Millennials whom research has shown to expect a major dose of style and good design,
This hasn’t been lost on the hotel industry as major groups continue to announce new lifestyle brands that they always bill as design forward, one of the latest being AC by Marriott. I couldn’t help but think will we soon see yet another new brand — the hotel counterpart to a Zara or an H & M — low cost, big fashion statement, and wildly successful? And then many of these same groups have new executive positions with serious titles who are like creative directors, helping ensure the brands continue to align with changing design and fashion values.
Travelers are seeing hotels with new eyes and new words to describe the hotel product.I couldn’t help but think about the term “boutique hotel” which, when first deployed, implied a property with special style. Not so much anymore.With simple bed and breakfasts calling themselves boutiques, will this term become meaningless? I think so.
Amenities, even ones with a “wow” don’t seem enough to cut it these days. Travelers are going beyond that, looking for fresh new looks that excite and entertain. A large dose of creativity is just what the hotel doctor calls for.
For more on hotels and fashion brands, click here to read a previous post on the topic.