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VOL. 128 | NO. 226 | Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Holiday Inn Launches Brand Awareness Campaign

By Andy Meek

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Holiday Inn, the iconic hotel chain that launched in Memphis more than 60 years ago and went on to become an international mega-brand, wants customers to change their view.

That phrase has a literal and figurative connotation. It refers to a new generation of hotel guests becoming acquainted with the storied hospitality brand, and it also refers to Holiday Inn’s multimillion-dollar Change Your View campaign, a newly launched effort to remind people what’s special about the company.

Holiday Inn Wolfchase Galleria is hosting a Change Your View open house Tuesday, Nov. 19, to reacquaint the public with the iconic brand.

(Courtesy of Holiday Inn)

The campaign launched in August with TV commercials, and the company has been stepping it up since then. As part of the effort, Holiday Inn is holding an invite-only, private event Tuesday, Nov. 19, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the company’s Wolfchase Galleria hotel at 2751 New Brunswick Road. The event will include food, drinks and a tour of the property.

“The goal of all this is to tell the story of Holiday Inn and to bring to life for our guests some important news about the brand related to the billion-dollar re-launch we completed several years ago,” said Heather Balsley, senior vice president of brand management for the Americas Holiday Inn Brand Family. “We learned very few guests were aware of the significant changes we’ve made. They may experience them individually but not realize the entire brand has changed. So the initial phase of the campaign is to draw attention to the significant modernization efforts and bring to life the experience in our hotels, where we want to make our guests feel like family.”

Along those lines, Balsley said the Wolfchase Galleria hotel was among the first in the Memphis area to showcase the brand’s new signage and several other new brand hallmarks designed to freshen up the hotel’s look and feel.

The Change Your View campaign highlights a $1 billion investment the brand made in a global relaunch, an investment that allowed Holiday Inn to focus on arrival and welcome services, guestroom and guest bath comfort, and a redesigned logo and signage.

“Our goal is for existing guests, for people staying in our hotels and having a great experience, to make them aware that the Holiday Inn experience is what they can experience across the brand,” Balsley said. “Also, for new people, this is not the Holiday Inn you may have experienced 10 or 15 years ago. We’ve changed, so you can try us again.”

Balsley said the investment in the re-launch was the largest in hospitality history. It was complemented by TV commercials and a combination of digital, tablet and mobile placements, and online and social media communications.

Among the hallmarks about the hotel company officials also want customers to know is that Holiday Inn was the first in the industry to introduce online bookings and to invite kids to stay and eat free. Also this year Holiday Inn was awarded for the third year in a row the distinction of “Highest in Guest Satisfaction among Mid-Scale Full-Service Hotel Chains” in the J.D. Power 2013 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Study.

As Holiday Inn celebrated its 60th anniversary last year at an event in Memphis, Kemmons Wilson Jr., one of the children of Holiday Inn founder Kemmons Wilson, reflected on the secrets to the chain’s success.

Wilson told The Daily News they included great leadership and adaptability to change, traits he said helped steer the company from the opening of the first Holiday Inn in 1952 at 4941 Summer Ave. to all the expansion and growth in the years that followed.

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