Accor revolutionizes economy-hotel codes and gives ibis a head start

Accor revolutionizes economy-hotel codes and gives ibis a head start

One year after announcing its economy-hotel ‘Big-Bang’, Accor has unveiled the full scope of the ibis revolution, which it has rolled out simultaneously in 56 countries, in record time. This project involved reviewing economy hotel codes in depth, renewing more than 100,000 beds, honing an all new concept for its public areas, and briskly installing the new ibis, ibis Styles and ibis budget banners.

By the end of 2012:
- 100% of the 1,600 economy hotels worldwide will be operating under the new banners
- End of October, 66 000 beds will have switched to the new Sweet BedTM by ibis, ibis Styles and ibis budget concept.
- 50 hotels will feature revamped public areas that put designer class back at the core of the hotel experience
- An advertising campaign in 56 countries will mirror the ‘ibis family’s’ transformation and modernization

Economy-hotel benchmark ibis is pushing ahead with its transformation in synch with evolving trends in consumer preferences and cementing its leadership in the worldwide economy hotel sector. This is the first step in Accor’s strategy to modernize all its brands.

“What we are doing with ibis is reinventing economy hotels by setting a new standard. Our goal is to open up new territories – I mean new hotel experiences as well as new geographies. This project is unprecedented. It has put ibis’ vision one step ahead. It is treating our customers to unrivalled choice at affordable prices and our franchisees to even more brand appeal,” explains Accor Chairman and CEO Denis Hennequin.

This economy-brand revitalization project kicked off on 13 September 2011 and involved grouping ibis, ibis Styles (all seasons) and ibis budget (Etap Hotel) within one single ibis family. The project’s goals were ambitious and it is outpacing traditional hospitality-industry cycles: by the end of October 2012, 70% of the French network (approximately 560 hotels) and 80% of the ibis network worldwide (1,280 hotels) will boast the new banners. The project will be complete by the end of 2012.

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This revolution also involves revamping ibis hotel bedding.
The fact that roughly 70% of guests rank comfortable beds as the single most important factor when they choose an economy hotel* prompted Accor to develop an exclusive bedding concept – Sweet BedTM by ibis, ibis Styles, ibis budget – to treat customers to unrivalled comfort and establish a solid reputation on that score.

The new ibis and ibis budget, public areas – lobbies, reception desks and bars – have been revamped into contemporary living areas brimming with uncompromising designer class. These areas were unveiled last June and 50 hotels worldwide will have completed the renovation work by the end of this year.

Sweet BedTM by ibis, ibis Styles and ibis budget encapsulates Accor’s sleep and bedding quality expertise
The new bedding concept that Accor has unveiled is packed with the expertise it has built over more than 40 years. An in-house scientific committee comprising sleep experts and outside researchers worked together for several months to develop this concept.
This is the first time a hotel group has designed an entire bed. This truly revolutionary ‘new-generation’ bed is designed around customers’ cultural habits. In other words, it has been tailored around the way customers use beds and local habits – worldwide – to provide unsurpassed comfort in its category. And more than 100,000 beds will be renewed by 2013!

A new ‘Big-Bang’ international advertising campaign starting 3 October
A worldwide communication campaign will kick off simultaneously in 56 countries on 3 October and run until end of December 2012, on a variety of communication channels (billboards, online, TV, and the press). It will target the general public and highlight the ibis family brands’ transformation and modernization. The Group has invested €30 million in this new campaign – the highest figure ever in the economy segment –, showing once again that it is determined to make a lasting impression on customers.

Accor teamed up with BETC Paris experts to create and roll out this campaign. BETC Paris in turn asked renowned English photographer Martin Parr to shoot the 17 portraits that show the reason behind the happy sleep experience: the new ibis bedding!

ibis.com, the new family portal for the three ibis banners
A new portal, ibis.com, will be launched on September 26 to provide a gateway to all the ibis family brands. This portal will supplement the existing three ‘mono-brand’ websites, which customers used to book a total of 7 million nights in 2011.

Sleep Art, a Europe-wide viral operation unlike anything the hotel industry has ever seen
Starting on 19 September 2012, a draw will treat a handful of Facebook (www.facebook.com/ibis) ‘fans’ to an exclusive one-time-only experience: ‘charting’ their comfortable night’s sleep in one of the hotels on a canvas. Ibis, Acne robotics experts and BETC Digital artists teamed up to design a robot and connect it to the new bedding. The sensors in the topper will capture sleep data to chart customers’ night’s sleep, live.

The robot will be in the public areas in the ibis Styles Paris Bercy hotel, charting customers’ movements on the canvas as they happen. The ‘work of art’ will be filmed throughout the operation, and then be posted on the Internet and available in the hotel lobby to share this artistic experiment with the public. Hotels in three European cities will be treating their customers to these one-of-a-kind nights:

- Paris: 2012 October from 08th to 23rd
- Berlin: 2012 October 26th to 11th of November
- London: 2012 November 14th to 23rd

* July 2012 Accor Business Traveller survey