• Hilton launches hip and humble brand

Hilton this week launched a new midmarket brand for the extended stay segment, Home2 Suites by Hilton.

The brand, which has already signed up 10 franchisees in the US, taps into the prevailing theme of "hip and humble", according to Hilton.

Reading through the press release announcing the brand there is the usually litany of marketing jargon about it being an "authentic new design" with a "brand personality".

But there are some concrete attractions too, both for guests and developers. With the latter, it is the relatively low cost per room of the brand, between $70,000 and $75,000, and it can also fit onto relatively small sites of two acres.

Bill Duncan is to be senior vice president, brand management, for both Home2 Suites and the more upscale Homewood Suites product.

Duncan will be based at Hilton's Memphis regional headquarters along with the rest of Hilton's select service brands.

It was confirmed last week that the main Hilton headquarters is to move from its Beverly Hills base, as widely anticipated, to Washington DC. The move will occur in the third quarter of this year. Locations in Maryland and Virginia are being considered.

It will mark a return home for Hilton CEO Chris Nassetta as he was based in Washington DC during his period at Host prior to joining Hilton last year.

Apart from making life more comfortable for Nassetta, the move is being justified on the basis that it brings Hilton's HQ a few hours more into step with Watford where most of the international operations are based. And it locates the HQ in a region of the US that is already home to Host, Marriott, InterState, Choice and other usually Marriott related entities such as Thayer and Diamond Rock.

The company has not specified how many of the 500 employees in Beverley Hills will make the move but it has said that not all will go.

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