February 12, 2009 // Franchising.com // Orlando, Fla. — Super 8 brand leaders at the chain's international convention held here today announced several operational and marketing initiatives designed to deliver value to franchisees.
Among the operational initiatives discussed were new ecologically–friendly uniforms, an evolving green program and an agreement with the Educational Institute.
The new uniform program, to be phased in over the next 18 months as hotels need to replace their employees' uniforms, features garments made using recycled polyester fibers spun from plastic beverage bottles. They require less energy and water for manufacturing and minimize the use of chemicals during cleaning.
Jim Darby, vice president of operations for the brand said, "This new uniform program came out of a desire to take care of the environment and create something people feel good about wearing. The uniforms are simple, they feel great and the program is cost–effective."
Darby also announced the development of a system–wide green initiative that will incorporate linen reuse and recycling programs as well as more efficient lighting. The chain will establish environmental standards for the brand over the next two years.
Super 8 franchisees are now also able to take advantage of an agreement with the Education Institute which provides them with online training videos and courses that can help them improve service levels and increase repeat business.
In response to current economic conditions, the brand announced that it will not implement any cost–adding operations standards this year and has postponed several initiatives including the replacement of logoed items in guest rooms.
Addressing hotel owners at the convention themed 'Simply Super', John Valletta, Super 8 president said, "Our goal is to give you the strategies and tactics you need to persevere and come out a stronger, better operator. In these challenging times, our long legacy, the fond memories that so many people have of experiences with our brand and our properties, is a powerful advantage."
Brand leaders are leveraging that 'powerful advantage' and positioning the brand for success now and in the future through a comprehensive marketing program.
"Our strategy is to gain market share from our competitors," said Super 8 Senior Director of Marketing Lisa Parada. "We're going to drive consumer preference for our brand with a strong media plan, great promotions and our new advertising campaign – Destination Super."
The new advertising campaign is focused on reintroducing the Super 8 brand to consumers while urging them to travel. The messaging reflects the brand's value proposition of affordability and convenience, and features an animated version of the brand's well–recognized sign, which speaks directly to the consumer.
The brand is also raising perception of its value and capturing market share with its Richard Petty Motorsports' sponsorship of Reed Sorenson on the #43 Super 8 Dodge and AJ Allmendinger on the #44 Dodge as well as with its various rodeo and bull riding sponsorships.
At the convention, the brand celebrated its 35th anniversary and the opening of its 2100th location in Monterey, Tenn. The 50–room property is a non–smoking, new construction hotel featuring an in–door swimming pool, whirlpool, exercise room and a conference facility able to accommodate nearly 150 people.
Super 8 Worldwide, a member of the Wyndham Hotel Group family of lodging brands, is a chain of economy hotels offering complimentary SuperStart® continental breakfast, high–speed Internet access, premium cable or satellite television channels and in–room coffee. All rooms are equipped with hairdryers and clock radios. Select hotels allow pets and offer complimentary local calls, fax and copy services; microwaves; suites; laundry service; exercise facilities; cribs; and rollaway beds. Children 17 and under may stay free in the same room with an adult family member.