Knights Unveils 2001 Marketing Initiatives

During the chain`s annual Owners and General Managers Conference, Knights Inn Vice President of Marketing Marilyn McHugh unveiled a number of initiatives developed to boost brand recognition while communicating the brand`s “Every Knight, Just Right” operating philosophy and service culture.

“We have ushered in a new era of Knights Inn marketing,” said McHugh. “From our website to our print ads, we have given our advertising a whole new look that`s contemporary and fresh. We`ll be the brand to watch in 2001, as we race into new markets and make “Every Knight. Just Right” for new and old guests alike.”


McHugh is leading the chain`s efforts to energize local, regional and national marketing plans. She said in an effort to stay ahead of changing industry trends and better serve guests, Knights has developed a clear, targeted marketing strategy by identifying its key markets and developing innovative programs to reach these niches.


The new look of Knights Inn`s advertising campaign is meant to convey the brand`s “Every Knight. Just Right.” commitment to exceed expectations through great people, service and value. The ads depict soundly sleeping children, business travelers, truckers and seniors under a Knights Inn blanket, with the tagline “When it comes to providing you with the right people, the right service and the right value, nobody covers you better.”


“Each of our new full-color ads tells us a story, with few words, but powerful images,” said McHugh. “We want our guest to know that after a long day, they will find the value they seek at our hotels. This ad campaign will solidify our position within the budget segment,” said McHugh. The ads can also be customized by Knights Inn franchisees for use at the property level and region.

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Another key announcement was Knights Inn`s the co-sponsorship of Toliver Racing`s National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Nitro Funny Cars with World Wrestling Federation`s WWF Racing.


“We are thrilled to sponsor a racecar in one of the hottest motor sport arenas around,” said McHugh. “Not only will this mean tremendous exposure for the brand, but it aims to drive business to our properties. A high percentage of fans travel extensively, following their favorite drivers to the next race venue. There is clearly a need for clean, comfortable accommodations at a great value-and Knights Inn will fill that need,” said McHugh.


While the new advertising campaign and racecar sponsorship will increase the brand`s visibility on a national level, two Regional Director positions were created to help owners and general managers effectively leverage all of the brand`s resources and support Knights Inn sales and marketing programs on a local level. The Regional Directors will offer one-on-one assistance to Knights Inn properties in all areas of hotel operations, including sales, marketing, QA and financial management.


“The new Regional Directors will support our initiatives on a grassroots level and add value to our franchisees` investments by providing them with one-on-one, hands-on training expertise,” said McHugh. “We have an opportunity to really make an impact with our franchisees, and ultimately, the success and overall performance of the entire chain.”


In the electronic marketing arena, Knights recently revamped their Website, www.knightsinn.com, and has experienced a highly positive response, including a #1 ranking in Customer Confidence by Gomez.com. The chain also launched KnightSource, the brand`s own intranet site that allows franchisees to access Knights Inn resources 24 hours a day, seven days a week from any laptop or desktop.


Knights Franchise Systems, Inc., a subsidiary of Cendant Corporation (NYSE: CD), is a budget lodging chain of more than 235 franchised properties in the United States and Canada. For reservations or further information, the toll-free number is 1-800-843-5644 (1-800-THE KNIGHTS) or access the chain`s Website at www.knightsinn.com.

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