AccorHotels cleans up Ibis, but not its brand portfolio

While the last repositioning of the Ibis brand was only in 2017, now AccorHotels is announcing a major overhaul of the Ibis brand and its positioning.

Ibis: future lifestyle brand?

Two ideas prevail in this major cleanup: to put an end to the excessive standardization of hotels, which no longer corresponds to what the customer expects, and to bring the brand into the era of the times with concepts such as openness to the city and sharing.

From now on, the client will be welcomed by a “Smile Team” whose members are called “Welcomers”. Equipped with mobile terminals, they will check in at the bar or in a convivial area in the lobby.

No more standardized approach: AccorHotels has developed three types of design for Ibis, inspired by the brand’s three markets: Europe, Asia and America.

The rooms are also redesigned with a concept to provide the experience expected by the customer whether he is alone, in couple or with friends. The “Smart Room” concept can be adapted to groups of 6 people.

Ibis hotel room
Redesigned rooms at Ibis

The “food and beverage” offer will be adapted to the local context and the bar will become the center of a convivial lobby designed as a space for living, sharing and meeting. And a simple offer of local products will now be available 24 hours a day.

lobby at Ibis
The lobby: a living space at Ibis

To finish and reinforce the experiential dimension, intimate live concerts will be organized thanks to a partnership with Sony Music.

Good news that doesn’t solve everything

It was time for AccorHotels to understand that excessive standardization has long ceased to be what the customer expects. Customers want guaranteed service, not rooms cloned from Paris to Saigon. Yes to a replicated service experience, no to cloned hotels.

But that doesn’t solve another problem: it wasn’t just the brand that needed cleaning. AccorHotels, like Air France until recently, suffers from an unreadable brand portfolio for the customer.

Today, AccorHotels has 30 brands. So understanding that the customer is more and more “a market of one” and having the most granular offer possible is good, but too much is too much and the customer gets lost.

The AccorHotels brand portfolio
The inextricable brand portfolio of AccorHotels

So you will tell me that there are 30 brands also at Marriott…

The Marriott Brand Portfolio
The Marriott Brand Portfolio

But where Marriott offers 6,400 hotels and 1,200,000 rooms, AccorHotels has only 4,500 hotels and 660,000 rooms …. All this is a bit too scattered.

And if it is easy to understand that Ibis budget is the “low cost” of Ibis, I challenge the neophyte traveler to intuitively know which of Ibis or Ibis Styles is the more premium of the two? While the work on the renewal of certain brands is more than welcome, a thorough cleaning of the portfolio is becoming more and more urgent.

In the meantime, if you are wondering what the future Ibis will look like, go to Moxy or Aloft. And for once, AccorHotels will not be blamed for copying (and why not improving) a proven concept rather than risking an unlikely innovation.

Photo : hôtel Ibis by photobyphm via Shutterstock

Bertrand Duperrin
Bertrand Duperrin
Compulsive traveler, present in the French #avgeek community since the late 2000s and passionate about (long) travel since his youth, Bertrand Duperrin co-founded Travel Guys with Olivier Delestre in March 2015.

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