Making Sheraton the new gathering place

Chitra Narayanan | Updated on August 09, 2019

The Sheraton Grand Bengaluru Whitefield Hotel & Convention Center

Marriott International has unveiled a refreshed look for its heritage brand

When hospitality giant Marriott International acquired another giant Starwood, its portfolio of brands grew to an unwieldy 30. A relook at the all the brands was warranted, especially Sheraton, one of the oldest brands in the portfolio — it was established in 1937. However, this was also the brand that resonated a lot with customers and hotel owners. So, Marriott embarked on a brand transformation campaign to put new life into Sheraton, unveiling a new logo, a fresh look and perspective. It aspires to be a hub for locals, a gathering place for community experiences. Excerpts from an email interview with Mike Fulkerson, Vice-President, Brand & Marketing (Asia Pacific), Marriott:

What is the importance of Sheraton in Marriott’s portfolio?

Within the Marriott International portfolio of 30 global brands of which 21 are represented in Asia-Pacific, Sheraton Hotels & Resorts is one of our longest standing brands. The success of Sheraton is vital to our company, hence why we announced a new vision for its brand transformation and why we have invested a considerable amount of time and resources in creating infrastructure and a robust process around its transformation.

As the most internationally distributed brand in the Marriott International portfolio, with almost 450 hotels open in 72 countries and territories and growing to 80 by 2020, Sheraton has a first-mover advantage that no other brand has. It was first to market in China, Eastern Europe, Russia and the first publicly listed hotel brand on NYSE.

What were the consumer insights that went into refreshing the Sheraton brand?

When we deep-dived into what has made this brand so successful, we found that its success lies in the connections our hotel has with its local communities in 72 countries and territories worldwide. Known as the ‘World’s Gathering Place’, Sheraton Hotels are often times the first international brand to enter into emerging destinations, becoming a gathering place for celebrations big and small.

With the continuing Brand Transformation, Sheraton is reaffirming its commitment to its communities with the introduction of social spaces in the lobby, a designated community manager at all hotels and dining venues that facilitate working and sharing ideas.

Given that Marriott now has a huge portfolio of brands post its merger with Starwood, how have you tried to keep Sheraton's identity distinct from the rest?

We don’t believe that there’s one brand that fits all people — for example, I would go to Sheraton Grand Bengaluru Whitefield Hotel & Convention Center whilst in Bengaluru for business and save up my Marriott Bonvoy loyalty points for a family holiday at the Renaissance Bali Uluwatu Resort & Spa.

When will we see a refreshed Sheraton in India?

We’re extremely optimistic about the interest and growth of the Sheraton brand in India. There are presently six Sheraton hotels opened and five more to open within the next five years. The first fully transformed Sheraton Hotel will be the Sheraton Phoenix in the US, which is slated to open by the first half of 2020. Meanwhile, we’re looking forward to debuting the newly transformed Sheraton brand in India and we’re presently looking for like-minded local partners to bring the brand to new key destinations and emerging cities in India.

Can you share details on the process of refresh?

The logo’s evolution reflects the renewed energy and firm commitment we are making to our owners and guests to the resurgence of this iconic brand. More than a logo, this is a symbolic statement of Sheraton’s vision for our new guest experience. Serving as a reminder of the brand’s long-standing history, at the centre of the new logo, the iconic Sheraton “S” remains.

The new logo has been redesigned to signal an eye to the future while also harkening back to Sheraton’s history. It reimagines the signature laurel as movement from the world and the energy of gathering.

Published on August 09, 2019

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