Let’s muse on likely Marriott/Starwood changes
23 NOVEMBER 2015 9:14 AM
The merger between Marriott and Starwood took us all by surprise, but since now we are all experts, let us speculate on likely changes to Marriott’s brand portfolio.
Now that the planned Marriott/Starwood merger news has had time to be digested by all of us, we can all take one $12.2-billion step back and take a wider view on what this might mean for all of the combined companies’ 27 hotel brands.
No deal such as this—actually perhaps there are no comparable deals in this industry—can be done without the company doing the taking over buying the warts of the company being taken over. Marriott gets the good, and it gets the not so good.
Everyone would expect that if the deal is finalized some brands will go, some hotels from one brand will be absorbed into others and some hotels will be eased out of the portfolio.
It is inevitable that changes will be made, but what brands will stay, which ones will go and what will all the clever new brands be named?
We can speculate in blogs, and here I go …
I am sincerely, pleadingly, hoping for one brand from Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide and one brand from Marriott International to be merged together and renamed Four Points by Sheraton by Sheraton by Courtyard by Marriott by Marriott.
That’s just because we writers love words.
Other ideas? I quite like the idea of Arne Sorenson and his pals adding suitable capital expenditure and moving up TownePlace Suites to become SpringHill TownePlace, but both of those brands already are in the Marriott camp, as would be both of the brands in new brand Residence Renaissance.
And definitely Starwood’s W brand could be merged with Marriott’s JW Marriott, with the clever graphics subtly interweaving the two Ws in those names together in a new brand identity that talks of the past but propels it into the future.
How about Protea Aloft, which sounds like an Ayn Rand or Aldous Huxley novel?
And if some standalone brands need a new brand identity, then Sheraton—generally regarded as needing a real shake-up—could emerge as Sherato, or S, or something generally regarded by marketers as memorable, cool and embracing. In other words, largely meaningless.
Is there room for new brands? Both companies have little at the budget end, and if a development push based on new, massive leverage comes as a result from this mega-merger into Europe and Asia, there might be the need for more product at that end of the spectrum.
Stephen R. Hennis’ global footprint heat map of the two brands shows where these hotels might go. (Hennis is from STR Analytics, a sister company of Hotel News Now.)
New brands would need new names, though, wouldn’t they?
In the meantime, we’ll be keeping our collective eye on what emerges from this exciting deal. You can read what we’ve written here.
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