Starwood Goes Beyond Hotel Walls
Starwood Hotels & Resorts is a master at brand extension. Through a variety of marketing and revenue-generating programs, the hotel company generates buzz among consumers in its core demographics. Here are two recent examples:
Westin's iconic Heavenly Bed is now in the air through an extension of its partnership with United Airlines. United's first and business class p.s. service between New York and California now features blankets and pillows based on the style of the Heavenly Bed. Also, attendants offer passengers White Tea-scented towelettes and mints and custom video and music from Westin's lobby music playlist. Finally, each season United will offer a new specialty cocktail inspired by Westin's SuperFoods program.
The two companies' first collaboration was the installation of Westin Renewal Lounges inside United Red Carpet Clubs.
On a commerce level, Starwood's Four Points by Sheraton brand followed its sister brands with the recent introduction of an online retail store. Many of the items for sale relate to the brand's signature symbols: beer and pie.
Fans of Four Points' beer program can buy a vintage T-shirt honoring the chain's Chief Beer Officer or order a beer pretzel kit. Pie lovers can order a kit to make a pumpkin pie. Another section of the site offers nostalgic games and childhood classics, including Jacks, Old Maid, Hopscotch and more.
And since no Starwood retail operation is complete without bedding for sale, the site sells the Four Points by Sheraton Comfort bed (priced at $1,300 for a king or California king).
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