Park Hospitality Defines Strategic Positioning Of Brands

Extensive Research Pinpoints Segmentation; Maximizes Value of the Brands;
Enables Park to Optimize Carlson Resources

Park Hospitality, parent company of Park Plaza and Park Inn hotels in North America and Asia Pacific, announced last week newly defined strategic positioning statements, clarifying each of its brands within the hotel industry`s segmentation structure. This important step in the company`s evolution follows an in-depth research study conducted by the company`s brand marketing department, and enables Park to maximize its use of business-building resources available through it parent organization, Carlson Hospitality Worldwide.
“When we acquired the management rights to the Park Plaza and Park Inn brands, we set in motion a research process about competitive sets, guest services, amenities and average rates, to clarify our brand positioning,” said Jetse Pottinga, executive vice president of Park Hospitality. “Our goal was to gather the necessary information to maximize the value of our brands, create a competitive advantage and distinguish Park from other Carlson hotel brands in the minds of guests and investors.”
Park Hospitality conducted research using three main elements. First, a survey of a 20 different hotel brands competing in the luxury, upscale, mid-scale, economy and budget segments, and a comparison of their average room rates, business mix, satisfaction ratings, service ratings and value ratings. Second, a review of industry periodicals, hotel and lodging market research handbooks, case studies of best practices, and industry performance monitors. Lastly, Park management interviewed hotel owners and Carlson executives who specialize in hotel leadership, sales and marketing, customer relationship management initiatives, reservations and operations technology.

“By combining the findings of these research elements, we were able to answer several questions that were critical to better define our brands,” said Pottinga. “For example, should Park brands be positioned as full-service or limited-service? Will they offer restaurants and fitness facilities? Who do they compete with? What are their business objectives? Where do they fall in the hierarchy of Carlson hotel brands?”
As a result of their research efforts, the company has defined -

Park Plaza hotels as positioned in the mid-scale to upscale segment of the full-service category. These hotels are generally 150 rooms or larger and located in downtown, suburban and airport commercial locations. With restaurants, meeting rooms, catering, suite and recreational facilities, the hotels serve the travel needs of business guests, meeting attendees and weekend leisure guests.
Park Inn hotels are positioned within the economy to mid-scale segment of the limited service hotel category. Park Inn is primarily a conversion brand that serves a wide range of guests in suburban and leisure destinations. Park Inn hotels offer free continental breakfast, as well as special amenities and services for both business and leisure travelers.
Pottinga also said that by clearly understanding where the Park brands are positioned, the company is better able to work in tandem with its sister-brands to fully optimize the business-building resources of Carlson Hospitality Worldwide. These resources include, but are not limited to, participation in the company`s customer relationship management strategy; access to Curtis-C., the company`s award-winning global reservation system; membership in Look to Book., the industry`s most recognized travel agent reward program; participation in Park Rewards, the guest loyalty program for Plaza and Park Inn hotels in North America; and access to the $800 million purchasing power of Provisions., Carlson`s global procurement division.