June 01, 2009 // Franchising.com // Rio Grande, Puerto Rico — More than 350 owners, managers and staff attending the Wyndham Hotels and Resorts conference this week heard new brand President Jeff Wagoner announce that the brand's footprint would be expanded by affiliating it with the midscale extended-stay Hawthorn Suites® brand.
The affiliation, designed to reach a broader consumer base and leverage marketing, sales and training, creates a combined Wyndham® brand that will encompass approximately 325 hotels based on quarterly system statistics disclosed March 31. The company previously affiliated its Wingate® and Wyndham brands in 2007.
To formalize the relationship, the Hawthorn brand, now Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham, will be identified with a refreshed red and orange logo that incorporates key design elements of the Wyndham logo.
"The integration of Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham allows us to offer a complete spectrum of products under the Wyndham umbrella, meeting every type of consumer's hotel need," said Jeff Wagoner.
He also outlined a three-pronged brand strategy to clarify each product's positioning within the Wyndham Hotels and Resorts brand and drive growth for the chain's managed and franchised hotel portfolio.
Addressing an audience representing the Wyndham, Wingate by Wyndham and Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham brands who assembled for the conference at the Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa - A Wyndham Grand Resort, Wagoner said his strategy aims to ensure "Wyndham gains recognition as one of the great upscale hotel brands."
"With just three months under my belt as president of Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, already, it's clear to me what we need to do," he continued. "My focus has been, and will remain on, establishing three things: brand clarity, brand contribution and profitability for Wyndham owners and operators."
Wagoner clearly framed the Wyndham brand portfolio to include five distinct product types including the four-plus diamond, upper, upscale Wyndham Grand Collection; the three- to four-diamond upscale Wyndham Hotels and Resorts; the three-diamond Wyndham Garden; the new-construction midscale without-food-and-beverage Wingate by Wyndham; and the extended stay Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham.
To bridge the unique identities of each Wyndham product type within the Wyndham family of brands and to create a "familial resemblance for consumers," a number of attributes will become common across all Wyndham products including the Wyndham ByRequest personalized loyalty program, which will extend to Wingate by Wyndham and Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham. This will give each product type a unique advantage over competitors in their respective segments while continuing to maintain the individual elements that make them unique.
Other common attributes include Wyndham Worldwide Corporation's Count On Me! service culture, whereby, all Wyndham employees pledge to be responsive, be respectful and deliver great customer experiences; Wyndham Be Well™ philosophy; marketing designed with a similar look and feel; common property management systems; and the Wyndham brand name.
Building upon Wagoner's message, Bill Hall, Wingate by Wyndham brand senior vice president, unveiled the first new interior prototype designs for the Wingate brand since its launch in 1995. The new design concepts will include more open, social public spaces and contemporary guest room décor as well as ecologically friendly elements such as furniture and fixtures made from sustainable materials and energy-efficient lighting.
To develop the Wingate by Wyndham interior prototypes, the brand tapped Gensler, a global leader in architecture, design and planning.
"While our typical guest is over the age of 35, we are preparing for the Generation X and Y travelers who are developing their brand of first choice," said Hall. "The new designs are contemporary and comfortable and provide an intuitive guest experience."
Hall, who will oversee Hawthorn operations, also introduced a new, all-suite Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham interior prototype featuring fully equipped kitchens with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances, flat-panel televisions and desks with easily accessed power outlets and data ports. Prototype suites are divided into five zones: Chef Zone, Flex Zone, Relaxation Zone, Sleep Zone and Cleansing Zone, each with space to work, eat, sleep, bathe and relax.
The designs, which have a more upscale look and feel than the current Hawthorn Suites design, also offer the choice of three distinct color palettes reflecting seasonal colors of spring, summer and fall for warmth and home-like surroundings.
Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, LLC and its affiliates, subsidiaries of Wyndham Worldwide Corporation (NYSE: WYN), offer upscale hotel and resort accommodations throughout the United States, Europe, Canada, Mexico, China and the Caribbean. All hotels are either franchised or managed by Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, LLC or an affiliate.