InterContinental Hotels had built its brand with the business traveler at its core. However, the existing value proposition and customer profile weren’t maximizing the hotel’s bottom line.
InterContinental came to Interbrand with a unique challenge: grow its customer base and increase revenues through the development of a new global customer target profile, value proposition, brand identity, and brand product/service icons.
We created an international team to mimic InterContinental’s team that drew from its headquarters in London, New York and Singapore. This enabled us to gain input and feedback on global consistencies and locally compelling customer and business issues. We began by identifying a bulls-eye target, considered a discerning and well-travelled individual for whom travel was an opportunity for new experiences.
The positioning came out of this insight: “For people who want to be in the know, InterContinental is the brand that goes out of its way to deliver authentic and enriching experiences that make your world feel bigger.” The positioning spotlighted each individual hotel as a gateway of knowledge to its city. The new brand identity was designed from this strategy and brought to life across each and every touchpoint and through an extraordinary experience delivered by employees.
To gain buy-in from a large number of brand-skeptic hotel owners, we developed an ROI business case to prove the value of investing in brand marketing activities. We combined research, transactional and financial data to quantify the anticipated impact on the InterContinental bottom line of investing in the proposed brand and customer experience transformation of tens of millions of dollars annually. InterContinental fully implemented the new brand across the world and through all channels, growing both local revenues and global brand value. In the year following launch, InterContinental experienced a 10% increase in brand consideration by their target audience, a 12% increase in revenue per room, and a 26% increase in share price of its parent company, IHG.