Westin Hotels Successfully Transforms the Guest Experience

With an estimated budget of US$30 million, Westin Hotels launched a new campaign in May 2011 entitled “For a Better You” that focuses on hotel experiences rather than amenities. The initiative aims to boost weekend stays and capitalise on the growing demand for more authentic travel by showing guests that they will feel better when they leave a Westin hotel.

Health and wellness focus

When developing its new marketing campaign, Westin moved away from traditional hotel advertising featuring fancy rooms and happy hotel employees and, instead, focused on health and wellness elements.

Westin targeted the new campaign towards more of a “psychographic” than a demographic group. In other words, the focus is on guests who are at different stages of their lives, but share a single need of personal wellbeing. In general, this target market, often referred to as “balance seekers” by Westin, is very health conscious and looking for travel options that help sustain healthy lifestyles, no matter whether staying for leisure or business purposes.

The “Elements of Well Being”

The advertising campaign uses artistic imagery that links what Westin calls “Elements of Well Being” with the benefits guests can achieve from their stay. For instance, its resorts are depicted by a picture of a woman wearing a glamorous bathing suit and standing in a stylised pool of water with an umbrella and the advert’s text focuses on the benefits of getting plenty of sunshine. Meanwhile, the Heavenly bed is depicted with a woman asleep on balloons, whilst the advert’s text highlights the benefits of a good night’s sleep, such as reduced stress, improved focus and enhanced memory. The Westin campaign comprises print (The New York Times and Wall Street Journal, digital (Condé Nast Network, Self.com, Epicurious.com, NYTimes.com and Oprah.com) and outdoor advertising, as well as social media initiatives.

Brand repositioning results

So far, the repositioning of the Westin brand has proved successful, further pushing the strong value sales growth achieved in 2010 into 2011. Indeed, at the end of 2011, Westin’s value sales surpassed pre-crisis results, at a total of US$2.7 billion.

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Source: Euromonitor International

Positive results are expected to continue, particularly as the unstable global economy is drastically changing consumer behaviour in favour of products and services that are environmentally friendly, healthy and authentic.