BY JAMES WILKINSON
Accor has dropped two of its brands, All Seasons and Etap, as part of as global shake-up of the economy segment aimed at making the ibis brand a global leader in the fast-growing, value-based sector.
The move will see Ibis become a mega-brand as All Seasons properties are re-flagged ‘ibis styles’ and Etap hotels rebranded as ‘ibis budget’.
Accor’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Denis Hennequin, made the announcement in Paris yesterday (Sep 13) and said the ibis re-branding was part of a global project for the world’s largest hotel management company.
“I have decided to challenge some of the basics of our business model: change is not an option, it is a necessity,” he said.
“The first part of our project concerns the economy segment.
“With our international leadership, we will revolutionize our economy brand portfolio around the ibis brand, which benefits from unrivalled worldwide notoriety.
“Consequently, ibis, Etap hotel and all seasons will evolve into a group of three strong, innovative, modernised brands and become ibis, ibis styles and ibis budget.
“ibis is now the keystone of our economy portfolio,” he said.
Accor’s implementation is of the new ibis segmentation is expected to completed worldwide by early 2013, while the rebranding will be complemented with a “vast communication campign” throughout 2012 according to Hennequin,
As part of the rebranding project, Accor said in a statement it intends ibis, ibis styles and ibis budget to “become the brands that offer the highest level of comfort and well-being in the economy hotel segment”.
A key element of that is a plan to “modernise the hotels and improve bedding comfort” and the company will reconfigure common areas, food and beverage offerings and consumer technologies so that the hotels correspond to new trends and meet the expectations of tomorrow’s customers”
Hennequin said Accor would also embark on a new strategy globally to ‘Open New Frontiers in Hospitality’.
“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,” he said. “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,” Hennequin said.
Accor has not yet released a timeline for the first rebranded ibis properties in Australasia, but is expected to make an announcement in the coming months.