Wyndham soft brand Trademark eyes upper midscale and up
Wyndham soft brand Trademark eyes upper midscale and up
05 JUNE 2017 5:00 AM

With 14 active deals and more than 50 in the pipeline, Wyndham Hotel Group looks to attract unique independent hotel properties that have made their mark but want to go further. 

PARSIPPANY, New Jersey—Today, Wyndham Hotel Group launched its 19th hotel brand and marked its first foray into soft branding with Trademark Hotel Collection.

What sets this collection apart from its other branded soft counterparts is its slightly lower aim, targeting independent hotel properties that sit in what Wyndham calls the “3- to 4-star” range, or upper midscale and above.

Lisa Checchio, Wyndham Hotel Group’s VP of brand marketing and insights, told HNN that Trademark is designed to “serve a subset of guests that want to experience a soft collection but may not be able to stay in an upscale or luxury hotel.”

“When you look at the demand for soft brands, it’s grown over 20%, but that’s all come in upscale and luxury,” she said. “We saw a huge untapped potential in the upper-midscale space.”

As for the name, Checchio said it’s “a symbol of character and uniqueness, for a type of distinct hotel with owners who have left their mark on their communities.”

Target properties
Checchio said Trademark has 14 “active deals” right now, with more than 50 properties in the pipeline. In terms of property profile, Checchio said Wyndham expects a mix of existing and new-build hotels around the world will fill Trademark’s portfolio, located in primary and secondary markets and ranging from urban to resort.

“We’re targeting those historic, landmark, signature hotels in communities around the world,” she said. “Those with character and charm.”

Checchio said the types of hotels that are perfect for Trademark are independent properties that are fixtures in their communities.

“I think of the hotel that was near my house where I grew up,” she said. “It was the hotel everybody knew—the place you would go for an anniversary dinner or the prom. If you had friends coming in, you’d tell them to stay there, but it didn’t go much further than that. It was a good hotel, run by the right people, but not affiliated with any brand.”

Checchio said that current Wyndham owners may elect to build new properties into Trademark, but the soft brand also is expected to attract new owners who haven’t been part of Wyndham’s brands before.

Standards and fees
Checchio said the main advantages for hotels entering the Trademark portfolio will be participation in Wyndham Rewards, distribution across all of the company’s channels, negotiated rates with online travel agencies, procurement access, and access to Wyndham’s global sales, marketing and operations teams.

When it comes to standards, public perception—in the form of TripAdvisor ratings—will be especially important, she said.

“Trademarks will operate under flexible brand standards,” she said. “We’ll expect them to maintain at minimum a 3.5-star TripAdvisor rating. When we think about PIPs, every property coming in will be evaluated as all are.”

Trademark hotels will pay a percentage of gross revenue to membership and marketing fees, Checchio said, and they will pay an initial affiliation fee.

Above all, the brand fits within Wyndham Hotel Group’s goal of complementing its portfolio with offerings that appeal to travelers across the board, Checchio said.

“We’re very excited about this,” she said. “We don’t see Trademark as just another brand—we see it as a rallying cry for those independent hotel owners who have already made their mark but want to partner to go further. And we see it as Wyndham Hotel Group making a mark on the industry again and our commitment to champion the everyday traveler.”

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