Unique experiences, lifestyle, design, and authenticity rule the day now. Does that sound the death knell of the branded hotel? Vaunted brand names like Marriott, Starwood, Hilton, and Hyatt have given way to Andaz, Aloft, Curio, Canopy, and Moxy. Despite sounding oxymoronic, the terms “consistent,” “dependable,” and “predictable” (read: cookie-cutter) at one time were unique selling propositions. Now those descriptors have become toxic. Driven by the evolving demands of a younger, hipper, better educated and tech savvy consumer, terms like chic, unique, customized, curated, and personalized are what differentiate the hospitality product these days. Across the full spectrum of the hospitality sector – design, brand marketing, packaging, and promotion – if you want to get the attention of today’s traveler, you have to answer their question: “What have you got for ME?” Hospitality companies are being challenged to offer unique, experiential, local, and authentic while maintaining the efficiencies their shareholders expect. The enforced uniformity of the major hotel companies was part of a larger business strategy that worked well for previous generations of travelers. Consumers liked uniformity and reliability, and so did the hotel companies’ bottom lines. Predictable amenities, features, furnishings, and layouts were appealing to both the guest and the hotel company CFO. Now, however, there is real pressure to carve out a distinct and authentic brand promise, while maintaining the efficiencies and economies of scale. And is that not an inherent conflict…the commoditization of unique? Get the full story at MMGY Global