Minor maps out brand expansion strategy

Bangkok-based Minor Hotels is set to expand its brands portfolio as the company seeks to grow from 530 open hotels now to a targeted 600 operating properties by 2025.

The global hotel chain has just eight brands, namely Anantara, Avani, Elewana Collection, Oaks, NH Hotels, NH Collection, Nhow and Tivoli. A behemoth such as Accor has 45 brands and 5,100 hotels, suggesting that brands are critical to a chain’s development, despite widespread criticisms over their lack of differentiation in general.

Di Tullio: we have to grow slowly but surely

Minor’s new chief commercial officer Ian Di Tullio, in an interview with TTG Asia, noted that “one of our top priorities is to establish our brand portfolio and brand strategy, which allow us then to accelerate our development plan”.

“We have eight brands today while our competitors have anywhere from 20 to 40-plus brands,” said Di Tullio, who came to Minor from Accor, where he was chief commercial officer Europe.

Minor is already doing some “demand space mapping” to determine the brands and sub-brands it needs.

He said: “When you look at different segments, there’s certainly a high growth around brands in the lifestyle space, in soft brands versus hard brands.

“We believe that there is opportunity in the soft brand space and we’re examining where we want to position ourselves (in that space). But lifestyle for us is less about creating a ‘lifestyle’ brand because that word has been convoluted – it’s how much lifestyle do you want a brand to be? Inherently most of our brands are already lifestyle if you qualify lifestyle as having lots of F&B and a lot of activations that enhance their attractiveness to the outside business.”

However, he added that the company will not double the size of its brands overnight.

“We have to grow slowly but surely. If we put a brand into the market, it will be a success, not a trial and error,” he said.

Di Tullio foresees at least three brands will evolve, also hinting that “one of our brands certainly will change and will increase in remit” without revealing further details as the process is still in the early stages.

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