Despite an unsettled economic climate, the Luxury Collection, an upscale brand of Starwood Hotels and Resorts, is updating its advertising to attract new guests.
Created internally, the new print and online campaign adopts a tagline developed by the brand's former agency, Atmosphere BBDO, now Atmosphere Proximity, part of the Omnicom Group: "Life is a collection of experiences. Let us be your guide." It also features photographs of still-life vignettes that contain framed snapshots of a variety of Luxury Collection hotels, plus travel souvenirs, all displayed on a credenza.
Paul James, global brand leader for Luxury Collection - a group of 79 hotels that comply with brand service standards, of which Starwood manages 41 and owns 10 - said the company "has not seen any immediate change in demand" in the wake of the stock market's recent gyrations.
"We're confident that even if there is turbulence in the market, it's the right time to talk about the Luxury Collection, to remind people about our great destinations," Mr. James said. "We will keep our eye on the market, and if we see any change in our business, at that time we'll adjust our strategy."
According to Jan Freitag, senior vice president for global development at Smith Travel Research, a lodging research company, "luxury hotels are alive and well." Demand for luxury hotels in the United States is strong, he said, which has allowed them to increase rates an average of 6.4 percent in the first seven months of this year, compared with an average 3.5 percent rate increase for the industry as a whole.
"After coming out of the '09 recession," he said, luxury travelers "are psychologically prepared to take the wild gyrations of the stock market in stride. We don't expect there to be an impact on high-end leisure and business travelers because of short-term stock market changes."
Bjorn Hanson, divisional dean of the Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management at New York University, said now was a "great time" for Starwood to promote the Luxury Collection, because luxury lodging demand in the United States would increase more than 5 percent this year.
"Volatility in the stock market has become the new norm among higher-income travelers. Their underlying wealth has not changed to the point where it would affect their lifestyle issues," he added.