.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;} Making Sense: e-Digest of Brand Thinking

Friday, September 08, 2006

The war of the beds – Part II

Two more contenders have joined the hospitality industry's ongoing bedding war: Residence Inn (owned by Marriott) and Hampton Inn (owned by Hilton). Both are advertising a more comfortable and relaxing bed for weary business travelers.

No doubt, each company hopes to differentiate and add value to their brand through the unique bed experience it offers. But judging from these two ads in the 2006 issue of Business 2.0, they're having a hard time identifying the differences themselves, or at least their advertising agencies are.

Take the visual in the two ads. Both show a young woman snuggled in fluffy, cloudlike bed linens. Her eyes ask: Must I get out of bed?

Or take the bedclothes. Residence Inn describes theirs as "Crisp, white linens," while Hampton Inn mentions their "Crisp, white duvet."

One day, I suppose, virtually all hotel rooms will come with comfortable, luxurious beds. Then what? The industry will have to find new sensory branding experiences for its guests. As I write this, I imagine there's at least one hotel chain out there that's secretly working on adding cashmere to toilet tissue.

For more on sensory branding in the hospitality industry, see my June 2005 post, The war of the beds (and the chairs...and the showerheads).

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