As part of the Sheraton strategy, the hotel saw themselves as an innovative and evolutive brand in a market with a growing number of look-alike competitors. Sheraton was confronted with some research that found the hotel was not creating a true bond with its business clientele throughout the Asia Pacific region.
The brand was convinced that reversing this trend would be the only way to differentiate from the competition and grow market share in the long term. The decision was made to offer their business guests more choice in a two-tiered offering—1. Sheraton Hotels 4-star “Deluxe” rooms, focusing on the functionality and comfort required by business travelers while on the road, and 2. The new Sheraton “Towers”, a slightly more expensive rooms with butler services and 5-star suites experience that the business executive (upper management) was looking for. The hotel’s two-tier offering allowed guests a choice in rooms, rates and extended services.
It was decided that two separate advertising campaigns were required, one for each offering, to run across the region at the same time in select magazines and newspapers that targeted the two-tier business travelers. Both campaigns were created around a similar design and branding concept, yet they carried different messages, and both ran for two years across Asia Pacific. The hotel established its “Towers” offering as a first in the industry which strengthened the brand’s identity and separated their offering from that of the competition. The Towers was an immediate hit with Asian business travelers who demand the best in accommodation when they travel.
Occupancy rates averaged 61.9% before the launch, and increased dramatically within one year to 68% for Sheraton’s 4-star offerings, and 77% in the upgraded Towers suites. The hotels overall accommodation revenue increased by an unprecedented 9% in year one.
Public Relations was also used to reach the target audience, based on the new print campaigns and the revised hotel strategy. Sheraton garnered several hundreds thousands dollars of free publicity. The advertising campaign created went on to win the hotel several awards from advertising and travel marketing awards shows.