Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

February 18 2013

Are Hilton, Marriott, Four Seasons Most 'Relevant' Hotel Brands?

By Carolyn Clark, Vice President, Marketing & Communications

We all have a method for making our hotel selections; however, a recent Brodeur Partners study, in collaboration with MavenMagnet looked into the heart of what really matters when it comes to online conversation about hotel choice and has come up with intriguing answers.

The study reveals that Hilton, Marriott, and Four Seasons (in that order) have the highest Conversational Relevance™ in online discussions among leisure and business travelers. The Conversational Relevance™ scale is a measure of how much people are talking about a brand and how impactful and positive that conversation is. Brodeur and MavenMagnet parsed more than 18,000 online conversations between May 2012 and October 2012 across social networks, profiles, forums, news websites and blogs.

Brodeur’s executive vice president of strategic planning, Jerry Johnson said, "We looked not only at practical considerations but at how the brands resonated with hotel guests' senses, values and social needs, which are the other dimensions of Brodeur's relevance model.  When a brand is engaging all four dimensions, it inspires strong feelings and an abiding loyalty in those who experience it."

The top hotel brands in the analysis displayed highly positive overall Conversational Relevance™ scores based on positive/negative buzz differential, with Hilton earning a 58 percent score followed by Marriott (56 percent) and Four Seasons (51 percent).

Four Elements that Drive Relevance

The analysis dug much deeper, however, looking at each of the 10 brands' attributes through Brodeur's four relevance pathways:

Functional - Practical attributes people care about like service, location, rooms, recreation and rewards programs. Comments in this area dominated the conversation about hotels. Marriott, Hilton and Sheraton were the winners here.

Sensory - Attributes that appeal to all five senses like the view and water pressure in the shower (which surprisingly eclipses bed comfort in online attention). Ritz-Carlton and Hilton led the category.

Values - Attributes that reflect personal values such as the hotel's service ethic and commitment to indulging patrons. Four Seasons dominated.

Social - Attributes related to customer status, such as the brand's cachet. Four Seasons dominated here, too.

"Using our proprietary technology, we tap into the collective intellect of engaged consumers--in this case, consumers sharing their experience about travel and hotels," said Aditya Ghuwalewala, MavenMagnet founder. "Our zero interference approach eliminates the risk of respondent conditioning thereby delivering actual insights focusing on what's relevant in the space."

View the complete study

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