Hard Rock Hotel, Miss Sixty and Giorgio Armani are all poised to launch their own branded hotels. Are such brand extensions the future of the leisure industry or a step too far in terms of brand creep?
Some brands, like Armani, have the heritage to translate, but brands with an ephemeral high street presence should be careful about entering the hotel trade. The mentality of the users are so different that a simple transition is impossible. Miss Sixty should be very specific to its target audience. An under-25, girls-only micro hotel?
Neil Hogan, Creative director, SHH (pictured)
When developed in a chic, boutique style, like the Hotel du Petit Moulin, brand hotels are a genius alternative. No doubt the Hard Rock Hotel offers a Disneyesque experience for a wide audience, but the Miss Sixty customer will not want to become typecast in a contrived environment.
Alison Cardy, Managing director, HMKM
Hotels can be dull. A strong brand can deliver a hotel experience that creates emotive appeal. Look at the planned Armani Hotel in Dubai – it will fulfil a promise of fashionable chic. I welcome hotels with personality.
Gregg Sedgwick, Chief executive officer and founding partner, GSCS, Dubai
Fashion designers designing hotels – great. Creating the entire brand experience – not great. The mark of a wonderful hotel is its service and atmosphere. The snooty, anorexic bimbos serving you on Bond Street indicate the Ritz Carlton knows more about service than Versace. And I’d back Banyan Tree over Hard Rock for authenticity. Brands should stick to what they’re best at. I’ll be at the Aman, not the Armani.
Jasmine Montgomery, Executive director of strategy, FutureBrand
Today, brands that are extending their products are just warming up. In a more experiential economy, they can mutate into higher-value business models to create offerings fuelled by leisure, entertainment, adventure, fantasy and personal transformation. But only if they have a strong idea and the courage of their convictions to reimagine their business. The hotel industry is littered with lost causes, and designing the memory of next year’s holiday is far removed from designing next season’s handbag.
Ralph Ardill, Founder, The Brand Experience Consultancy (pictured)