New Hilton brand won’t be millennial-focused
31 MARCH 2014 7:34 AM
Hilton Worldwide’s new lifestyle brand will appeal to a wide group of customers and will not focus solely on the millennial traveler, President and CEO Chris Nassetta said during the Hunter Conference.
ATLANTA—Hilton Worldwide Holdings’ president and CEO Chris Nassetta last week drew back the veil a little more surrounding the company’s efforts to develop at least one new lifestyle brand.
As it turns out, there might be more than one brand in the newly public company’s future.
As Nassetta discussed previously with Hotel News Now, a lifestyle product is definitely in the cards for Hilton, Nassetta said during an onstage Q-and-A session at the 26th annual Hunter Hotel Investment Conference. That new brand, though, is likely to be designed to appeal to a broad range of customers rather than being focused on the millennial traveler.
“Hampton has to appeal to a wide range,” for instance, Nassetta said. “They all have to. I think it’s misguided to think there is a silver bullet and there is a millennial brand that will solve any of a company’s problems.”
It’s misguided to try to develop a brand largely around just one generation of travelers because the desires of those travelers change as they age, he said.
“Millennials grow up,” Nassetta said. “What I wanted (at a younger age) and what I want now is completely different.
“The millennials will grow up and that will happen quickly, over the next decade,” he said. “You can’t change that fast. You have to anticipate these things. You better anticipate where this is going.”
Nassetta acknowledged that there is a lot of fervor around catering to the millennial traveler.
“I read. I know there are views that there are millennial brands,” he said. “I just don’t agree with it. The lifestyle brand, when we eventually do it, we will have a different perspective. It will be a perspective that will try to capture a broader base of demand.”
Nassetta also hinted during the approximately half-hour session that Hilton, which oversees a portfolio of 4,100 hotels comprising 680,000 rooms, might add a second brand. He did not provide additional details, however, on what shape a second brand might take or the timeline for when an additional brand might be introduced.
“The future is about innovation and really focusing on giving our customer base more choice,” he said, adding, “It’s a big world and there’s a lot more for us to do.”