Corporate Hospitality

Modern Hotel Names – Short and Sweet

There’s a growing trend for newly-created hotels to be blessed with monikers that would be very low-scoring scrabble words. ‘Blu’, ‘Moxy’ and ‘Vib’ may all sound like the names of energy drinks, but they are in fact the names of the latest hotel brands.

Historically, hotels have usually been named after their owner or location, but the modern hotel brands are taking a far more original route.

Why the trend for ‘modern’ naming?

So, what’s behind this new habit of hotel names that are brief, to the point, and are often very original with their use of English language? Step forward … the millennial.

Millennials – according to psycho-graphics – are much more likely to be independently-minded and adventurous than previous generations, and hotel brands are tailoring their marketing strategies accordingly.

People who were children as the last century turned are the first truly global generation, and therefore hotel chains are not willing to tie themselves down to geography or names. To engage with a generation so fond of tweets and texts, hotels are adopting names that fit into this new media landscape.

Txt speak + 1

If you want to include the name of a hotel in a text or tweet, then names like ‘Great Western Hotel’ or ‘Royal Strathdon Hotel’ gobble up too many of those precious characters.

The rules of grammar are completely ignored in favour of text and twitter conventions, plus by ‘inventing’ whole new words, a word can quickly become a trademark.

A newly-announced Dubai-based lifestyle brand is ‘Venu’, whereas Best Western’s latest hotel entry is called ‘Vib’. While ‘Vib’ may look as if it rhymes with ‘rib’, it’s actually pronounced ‘vibe’ – as it’s short for ‘vibrant’, or so says the branding firm behind both the name and the image.

Colour Me Good

It’s not just words that are important when it comes to hotel branding, as colour plays an important role as well. It’s not just a name – Vib has a persimmon red stripe to ‘reflect the brand’s bold personality’, while Carlson Rezidor’s ‘Blu’ chain is a very definite shade of … go on … guess …

Carlson also choose ‘Blu’ as opposed to ‘Blue’ or ‘Bleu’ so they were able to trademark it.

Not so random

A lot of these trendy new hotel names may seem a little on the random side, but some of them are less random than they may appear. For example, in 2014 the InterContinental Hotels Group gave the hospitality world ‘EVEN’ as the name of two US-based properties.

The name EVEN was chosen to ‘express the desire for the balance travellers are seeking’, or so said an IHG spokesperson. This is emphasised with an off-kilter logo which looks unbalanced until you notice the word ‘EVEN’ in the logo is perfectly level.

So, where did this ‘short and sweet’ naming convention originate? Most fingers point to the ‘W’ hotel chain which pre-empted social media when it opened in 1998.