Hotelier Middle East Monthly Update - 9th August 2005

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By  Sarah Campbell Published  August 9, 2005

It’s all in the name|~|Jumeirah-picL.jpg|~||~|If you want to make it big on the international stage then you have to have a name befitting your global ambitions. A name that encapsulates your brand. One that is different from the rest. And one that will, hopefully, become a synonym for the product or service you provide. Think vacuum cleaner and Hoover, spa bath and Jacuzzi, doing things in style and ‘Putting on the Ritz.’ The hotel industry may have been a latecomer to the brand bandwagon, but it has certainly jumped on it with all its weight in recent years. Brand names and tag lines have become all part and parcel of the hotel experience. ‘Take me to the Hilton’, ‘Your Marriott awaits’, ‘The Hyatt touch’, are all tag lines that emphasise the importance of getting the name right. Jumeirah International finally unveiled its new identity at the end of June. Following 12 months of exhaustive research, the company’s branding experts decided to rename themselves ‘Jumeirah’. The cost of deleting the word International will total over US $8 million, as the company brings in new collateral, a new web site, and attaches the new brand to the names of all its properties. Hotels such as Dubai’s Emirates Towers will now be known as the Jumeirah Emirates Towers. It is a shame the company didn’t employ some foresight when naming the Madinat Jumeirah, now to be known as the Jumeirah Madinat Jumeirah. The company plans to open another 40 properties worldwide by 2010, and CEO Gerald Lawless claims that the new name will “allow us to move forward as a global company”. However, not all name changes and rebranding exercises in the hotel industry have been successful, and Jumeirah should tread with care. Remember Six Continents? Industry stalwart Bass Hotels & Resorts underwent a global rebranding to Six Continents in 2001. A new logo was introduced, and proudly adorned all collateral, advertising and exhibition stands. Then the company split its interests. In 2003, the hotels sector was rebranded once again as InterContinental Hotels Group, a name easily confused with its five-star hotel brand, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, while its retail sector became Mitchells & Butlers. The name Six Continents remained as the name of InterContinental Hotels & Resorts’ guest recognition programme, but only for a short while, as that, too, got repackaged and transformed into the Ambassador Club. Will Jumeirah’s US $8 million be money well spent? Will hotel guests the world over be saying “Take me to the Jumeirah” by 2010? We wait and see. ||**||

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