Voco - New IHG Lux Brand

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Old Jun 11, 18, 3:57 pm
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Voco - New IHG Lux Brand

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Old Jun 12, 18, 6:27 am
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There's now a IHG press release on the brand. Seems like IHG's equivalent of Autograph/Curio, although there's a bit more branding than with the Marriott and Hilton alternatives. The release confirms initial roll-out in EMEAA region but will eventually expand to others. The first hotels will be some of the Principal/De Vere properties in the UK and the Watermark Hotel in Surfers Paradise. I'm surprised the QO in Amsterdam wasn't mentioned; seems like this would be ideally suited to the brand.

Press Release

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Old Jun 12, 18, 9:05 am
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Do you guys have to offer some insights on where IHG wants to go with its two loyalty programs?

My take is IHG wants to position Voco above Indigo. So it's certainly upscale. IHG now has plenty of upscale/upper upscale brands, including Kimpton. For one, I would think brands like Voco, Kimpton, and--to a lesser extent--Indigo and CP see significant overlap in guests with IC (and good customers are often members of both programs). For another, these brands could provide meaningful recognition to elites if IHG so desired.

With that in mind, it's not quite clear to me what are (for IHG and/or its customers) the advantages of the dual loyalty scheme structure.

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Old Jun 12, 18, 9:24 am
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I figured the IHG acquisition of Kimpton was to fill this void, and now that Kimpton is in the fold - i'm surprised. Seems like growing Kimpton would be easier than developing a new brand, or am I off the mark here?
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Old Jun 12, 18, 9:47 am
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Originally Posted by hurrykane View Post
I figured the IHG acquisition of Kimpton was to fill this void, and now that Kimpton is in the fold - i'm surprised. Seems like growing Kimpton would be easier than developing a new brand, or am I off the mark here?
I think Kimptons are all managed in-house. Whereas Voco would be franchised and allow the owner to keep a lot more of the local identity whilst still having certain standards.
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Old Jun 12, 18, 10:32 am
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Also, keep in mind that hotel companies use ridiculous descriptions for their brand positionings. "Upscale" is a step below the Marriotts, Hiltons and Hyatts of the world. Kimpton is supposed to be (according to this terminology) "upper upscale" and IHG has started saying they want to move it slightly higher. I believe IHG now also considers Indigo upper-upscale.

This new "upscale" brand is really sort of a hybrid between a conversion brand (think Hilton's Doubletree and where Marriott is now positioning Delta) and an upscale soft brand (think Hilton's Tapestry Collection, not Curio; and SPG's Tribute Portfolio, not Marriott's Autograph Collection). Really, just a way for IHG to quickly expand in a segment they probably really only have Crowne Plaza in, with fairly loose brand standards that will require relatively little capital expenditures from the property owners.
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Old Jun 12, 18, 11:45 am
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Originally Posted by dw View Post
Also, keep in mind that hotel companies use ridiculous descriptions for their brand positionings. "Upscale" is a step below the Marriotts, Hiltons and Hyatts of the world. Kimpton is supposed to be (according to this terminology) "upper upscale" and IHG has started saying they want to move it slightly higher. I believe IHG now also considers Indigo upper-upscale.

This new "upscale" brand is really sort of a hybrid between a conversion brand (think Hilton's Doubletree and where Marriott is now positioning Delta) and an upscale soft brand (think Hilton's Tapestry Collection, not Curio; and SPG's Tribute Portfolio, not Marriott's Autograph Collection). Really, just a way for IHG to quickly expand in a segment they probably really only have Crowne Plaza in, with fairly loose brand standards that will require relatively little capital expenditures from the property owners.
IHG doesn't make a distinction between upscale and upper upscale in the same way as Marriott, but yes, agree otherwise. In IHG language:

Luxury - IC
Upscale - Crowne Plaza, Hotel Indigo, Kimpton

So this is going to probably be fairly similar to Autograph in terms of positioning, IMO.
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Old Jun 12, 18, 12:23 pm
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Having stayed in my first AC hotel ever this week in Brimingham Mailbox, I switched all forward reservations to Staybridge/CP and the Indigo next door. It is like a poor mans version of Aloft.
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Old Jun 12, 18, 10:49 pm
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As an overall brand, IC does not fall into the Luxury segment no matter what IHg believes. It's also upper-upscale. although a handful of IC properties do actually qualify as Luxury. IHG has mentioned previously that they wanted to expand into the Luxury market with the partial acquisition of Regent. Based on some of the things they said last year, I believe there should still be one more high end brand coming, either through acquisition or new creation. voco sounds like the new "soft brand" they talked about, but it really does create a lot of overlap in the upscale/upper upscale range for IHG.. but they seem to believe their brands sit at different points than most of the rest of us.

Regardless of the fuzziness of where each brand sits, this announcement does cement one thing firmly into my mind. Spire, Hualuxe, EVEN, Avid, and now voco.... clearly IHG is really bad at creating new brand names that don't suck. Will they open a voco in Hawaii. You'll be able to go to their cafe and order a voco loco moco.
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Old Jun 13, 18, 6:13 pm
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Originally Posted by davidw70 View Post
I think Kimptons are all managed in-house. Whereas Voco would be franchised and allow the owner to keep a lot more of the local identity whilst still having certain standards.
Indigo is also extremely tightly branded in its own way, and voco seems on the surface to offer more latitude to hotel owners to set up a pleasant experience reflecting local identity.
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Old Nov 27, 18, 2:40 pm
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I stayed at the voco Gold Coast last week. Definitely not up to the same standard as Kimpton. This is an older property that has had the voco branding pasted over the previous branding. I am hoping they just haven't update the rooms yet and are working on it.

There is branding that, I am guessing, will be across properties of birds/owls/bees.

I have a full review of it here: https://singleflyer.com/2018/11/24/voco-gold-coast-review/
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Old Nov 27, 18, 4:54 pm
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Isn't there another brand that has just been released, right at the lower end of the scale, something like Avid? I haven't seen any of those yet. And didn't Hilton or Marriott just move into a brand that offers hostel like accommodation? Just get all those students and backpackers hooked while they have no money, so they become loyal customers years later? Names like voco and Avid are plain stupid (anyway, for me Avid manages the music writing software called Sibelius!)
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Old Nov 27, 18, 5:48 pm
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avid is the same level as Tru by Hilton, Motel One, or Ibis Styles. I think there are only a handful of them open at this point.
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Old Nov 28, 18, 11:56 am
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Originally Posted by baroqen View Post

Regardless of the fuzziness of where each brand sits, this announcement does cement one thing firmly into my mind. Spire, Hualuxe, EVEN, Avid, and now voco.... clearly IHG is really bad at creating new brand names that don't suck.
You can also add QO to this list! Although I don't know what's wrong with EVEN, I think it's quite a good name / differentiated concept generally.
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Old Nov 28, 18, 8:13 pm
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If nothing else this thread inspired me to go and buy a packet of Iced Vovos for the first time in years - Arnotts will be pleased



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