Marriott and Starwood to keep all brands

But inevitably the positioning of so many brands begins to blur
The merger between Marriott International and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has gone through, and all 30 brands will be kept, Marriott’s global brand officer Tina Edmundson exclusively tells Bloomberg.
Marriott was already the world’s biggest hotel company, with 19 brands. Now it has 30. Ahead of an expected announcement on the future of the brands, Edmundson reveals that eight brands will be tagged as luxury and that rival brands will keep their distinct identities.
“We thought long and hard about how you serve up 30 brands in a meaningful way – one that helps consumers infer both price and experience,” she said.
The three ‘soft’ brands with independent properties – Luxury Collection, Tribute Portfolio and Autograph – will remain in place.
So too will Design Hotels, a collection of around 280 independent properties that has a partnership with Starwood’s loyalty program. It will “probably be merged with Marriott Rewards in the near future”.
There will be two types of ‘luxury’ in the new company. Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis and JW Marriott will be characterised as ‘classic luxury’ (traditional, business travel friendly) while five others will come under ‘distinctive luxury’ (modern, boutique-esque).
Inevitably, though, the positioning of the brands begins to blur.
“I think we need to continuously innovate at the high end,” Edmundson concedes. “This consumer is very discerning. We need to offer what today’s and tomorrow’s luxury guest is looking for. Innovation in the luxury space is absolutely a priority.”


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