Hotel marketers know that in a crowded marketplace adopting outside-the-box strategies is a must to pull ahead of the competition. One such tactic many hotel brands have embraced—with great success - is forging corporate partnerships with non-hotel brands that have established identities and consumer loyalty.

While partnerships do require time and energy, successful ones help hotel brands maximize ad dollars and boost brand recognition, loyalty, and return on investment. As important, capitalizing on consumer loyalty to another brand or product through cross-branded partnerships—such as Hilton and the Olympics or Best Western and NASCAR—also exposes them to new market segments and increases their market share with current customers.

Like any relationship, corporate partnerships require work for both sides to survive. Chad Waetzig, senior vice president of marketing for Sheraton, acknowledges that partnerships are not easy by nature. Sheraton recently teamed with Yahoo to offer Yahoo Link, a pilot program at the brand’s San Diego and Boston locations that features a lounge with Internet, Wi-Fi, and broadband connections for guests’ use. He says honest, open communication about the relationship between the two partners allows both parties to understand what the other seeks to gain as a result of the partnership.

“Being frank with one another may cause tension, but this is a healthy tension,” Waetzig says. “It encourages both parties to collaborate in solving problems that may arise.”

Get the full story at Lodging Magazine