Accor renames loyalty program, updates European branding

Accor, now a pure-player in hotels with the acknowledged three-fold expertise of a hotel operator, hotel franchisor and hotel asset manager, unveils its new strategy with the economy brands ibis, ibis styles and ibis budget.

“Today we are launching a large-scale project to establish Accor as the world reference in the hotel industry capable of inventing the hotels of the future," said Denis Hennequin, Accor chairman and CEO. "This major initiative will involve all our teams. To do so, we will rely on the Accor brand that we intend to make more visible to the general public in particular, in order to meet distribution challenges. Our ambition is reflected through a new signature: “Open New Frontiers in Hospitality” and through stronger identity symbols. Our objective is to offer a new, unique hotel experience with repositioned brands and modern, innovative services."

Observation of constantly evolving life styles and consumption modes was the starting point of Accor’s reflection on its economy brands.

Consumer expectations have evolved significantly. The vertical segmentation of economy to upscale brands is a thing of the past. Now, all brands must be able to project a self-enhancing image to their customers and offer modern, contemporary and stylish services. For that reason, Accor felt that the group’s economy hotel products and services needed to be re-invented so they could go beyond their market segment and cater for the changes in consumer expectations.

ibis becomes a Mega Brand with three brands:

-       ibis, which remains ibis,
-       all seasons, which will become ‘ibis styles’
-       Etap Hotel, which will become ‘ibis budget’

The implementation of this new segmentation – which will be completed worldwide by early 2013 – will increase the clarity, consistency and strength of the three economy brands, and will enable Accor to achieve critical mass in several markets and will also boost each brand’s notoriety and growth potential.

A vast communication campaign will accompany this rebranding in 2012. Its objective will be to capitalize on the image of the ibis Mega Brand by highlighting the shared DNA through three structuring concepts: modernity, simplicity and well-being, while clearly differentiating the distinct offers of each of the three economy brands.

ibis, ibis styles and ibis budget intend to become the brands that offer the highest level of comfort and well-being in the economy hotel segment.

With its 1,500 economy hotels on 4 continents, excluding Motel 6, Accor will consolidate its leadership position in this segment which is essential for its profits and its worldwide growth. This new, ambitious brand project will:
-       Strengthen Accor's economy brands’ notoriety and boost customer satisfaction,
-       Improve the efficiency of Accor's distribution and loyalty systems through the sharing of channels and tools,
-       Ensure the expansion of these brands worldwide.

Accor's new tagline, “Open New Frontiers in Hospitality,” reflects the group’s aspiration to imagine new forms of hospitality, notably digital ones.

Lastly, to strengthen the bond of trust and the credibility of its brands, Accor will also become an endorsement brand with a new endorsement system, the “by Accor” signature which will be used in all the brands’ communications.

Repositioned in this way, with a reinforced identity system, the Accor brand aims to become the hotel industry’s most competitive and attractive relationship brand for partners, employees and customers alike.

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