WSJ.com published an interesting article detailing the re-branding of several prominent and high-end hotels here in the United States. You can read the article here.
It is amazing that the infamous “AIG effect” is causing such a change in the resort-hotel industry. It seems that in this case, perception is reality. It’s pretty obvious to me that this shift is occurring in real estate markets outside of hotels.
For example, we are seeing a significant shift in the way the 55+ markets are beginning to look for retirement living. In a previous blog, I explained the shift from resort style living to more natural and efficient amenities. It is obvious that this is a movement affecting multiple markets because of economic conditions.
The major shift towards more efficient housing spaces in all markets can bee seen in their branding and re-branding. Words like “resort” and “luxury” are being dropped in response to the wants and needs of consumers. These words carry a negative vibe and can potentially scare off potential buyers or renters. It’s apparent that consumers aren’t looking for luxury right now, but efficiency and affordable pricing. These things are more important than resort style amenities. I wonder how many people hear the words “resort style amenities” and become discouraged because of perceived costs. The way they define “luxury” is changing too.
High-end hotels are surviving because they are embracing the change. Unfortunately, it took a while for them to realize that the re-branding of their product was necessary and during that time, they lost a lot of money. This seems to be the case for most of the real estate industry. We are having to uncover creative ways to present ourselves to consumers and this change might not be as obvious as dropping one word from our names.