A press release was published this morning in sync with an international hospitality conference at NYU outlines Starwood’s plans to revitalize the Sheraton brand. This 10-point plan includes a $100 million advertising campaign, a new Sheraton Grand category to highlight the best properties, and enhance various service elements.
I call out the advertising campaign because one bullet point included is the plan to “execute the richest Sheraton-focused SPG promotions in Starwood’s history.” In light of this morning’s disappointing SPG summer promo, I’m hoping that we can look forward to something more exciting in the next few years, even if it’s exclusive to the Sheraton brand.
Personally, Sheraton is one of my favorite Starwood brands next to St. Regis and Le Meridien. I think the biggest problem Starwood has across its brands is consistency, while these three are the best at setting and delivering on expectations. Westin is all over the map, W is more style than substance, and various limited-service brands can be hit or miss. But I’m basing this on my own experiences.
In fact, it could be that I’ve been focusing my attention on the best of the Sheraton collection, which Starwood plans to carve out as a separate chain of 100+ “Sheraton Grand” hotels. I think this only works as long as they don’t neglect the ones left behind — and one stated goal of Sheraton Grand is to create a “halo effect across the portfolio.” Is this more or less effective when you carve out some properties and identify them as something different? We’ll have to wait and see what new features are announced. Hopefully the change involves more than a new sign on the door.
What do you think are the most needed improvements to the Sheraton brand, and will Sheraton 2020 deliver them? Or would you recommend Starwood place its focus somewhere else?