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Flevy Management Insights Case Study
Rebranding Initiative for Boutique Hospitality Group


Fortune 500 companies typically bring on global consulting firms, like McKinsey, BCG, Bain, Deloitte, and Accenture, or boutique consulting firms specializing in Brand Strategy to thoroughly analyze their unique business challenges and competitive situations. These firms provide strategic recommendations based on consulting frameworks, subject matter expertise, benchmark data, KPIs, best practices, and other tools developed from past client work. We followed this management consulting approach for this case study.

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Consider this scenario: The organization is a boutique hotel chain with a presence in culturally rich, urban locales, facing stagnation in market growth.

Despite a loyal customer base, the organization struggles with differentiating itself in a saturated market. The company's brand image has not evolved with changing consumer trends, leading to a diminished perceived value among potential new guests. The organization seeks to revitalize its brand strategy to appeal to a broader demographic and to stand out in the competitive hospitality industry.



Given the organization's stagnant market growth and the need to differentiate in a competitive space, initial hypotheses might focus on outdated brand perception and misalignment with current consumer trends. There could also be a disconnect between the brand message and the actual customer experience, or perhaps the brand strategy is not effectively communicated across all customer touchpoints.

Strategic Analysis and Execution

Adopting a structured, multi-phase approach to Brand Strategy can provide the organization with a clear path to revitalizing its brand and positioning in the market. This methodology, often followed by leading consulting firms, ensures a comprehensive evaluation of the organization's brand equity and the development of a strategic plan to enhance visibility and market share.

  1. Brand Audit and Market Analysis: Review the current brand positioning, assess the organization's reputation among stakeholders, and analyze competitive positioning. Key questions include: How is the brand currently perceived? What are competitors doing differently? What trends are influencing customer expectations?
  2. Consumer Insights and Segmentation: Gather data on current and potential customers to understand their preferences and behaviors. This phase involves identifying target segments and understanding the emotional and functional needs the brand should address.
  3. Brand Strategy Formulation: Develop a brand strategy that aligns with business objectives and consumer needs. This includes defining the brand promise, values, and personality, as well as creating a unique value proposition.
  4. Brand Expression and Experience Design: Translate the brand strategy into tangible elements such as visual identity, marketing materials, and customer experience blueprints. This phase ensures consistency across all touchpoints.
  5. Implementation Planning: Create a roadmap for executing the brand strategy, including timelines, budgeting, and resource allocation. This phase also involves planning for internal branding to ensure employee alignment with the new brand direction.

Learn more about Customer Experience Value Proposition Market Analysis

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Strategic Branding (25-slide PowerPoint deck)
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Brand Valuation - Implementation Toolkit (Excel workbook and supporting ZIP)
Brand Leadership (59-slide PowerPoint deck)
Branding and Messaging with Colors (41-slide PowerPoint deck)
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Implementation Challenges & Considerations

The CEO may question the adaptability of the brand strategy to future market changes. It is essential to build flexibility into the brand's core identity, allowing it to evolve without losing its essence. This includes establishing a feedback loop for continuous improvement based on market feedback and performance metrics.

Another concern may be the alignment of the brand strategy with current business operations. The brand strategy must be integrated with the organization's operational capabilities to deliver on the brand promise consistently. This involves training and development for staff to embody the brand values in every guest interaction.

Lastly, there might be skepticism about the return on investment of the rebranding initiative. A clear measurement plan with predefined KPIs will help in tracking progress and demonstrating the value generated by the new brand strategy.

Upon successful implementation of the methodology, the organization can expect increased brand recognition, improved customer loyalty, and higher market share. The refreshed brand should resonate with a broader demographic, leading to increased occupancy rates and revenue growth.

Implementation challenges may include resistance to change within the organization, difficulties in maintaining brand consistency across all touchpoints, and ensuring the new brand image aligns with customer expectations and experiences.

Learn more about Continuous Improvement Customer Loyalty Brand Strategy

Implementation KPIs

KPIS are crucial throughout the implementation process. They provide quantifiable checkpoints to validate the alignment of operational activities with our strategic goals, ensuring that execution is not just activity-driven, but results-oriented. Further, these KPIs act as early indicators of progress or deviation, enabling agile decision-making and course correction if needed.


What gets measured gets done, what gets measured and fed back gets done well, what gets rewarded gets repeated.
     – John E. Jones

  • Brand Awareness Index: to measure the effectiveness of brand visibility efforts.
  • Customer Satisfaction Scores: to gauge the alignment of brand experience with customer expectations.
  • Net Promoter Score (NPS): to assess customer loyalty and the likelihood of recommendations.
  • Occupancy Rate Growth: to track the impact of the rebranding on hotel bookings.
  • Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR): to evaluate financial performance post-rebranding.

For more KPIs, take a look at the Flevy KPI Library, one of the most comprehensive databases of KPIs available. Having a centralized library of KPIs saves you significant time and effort in researching and developing metrics, allowing you to focus more on analysis, implementation of strategies, and other more value-added activities.

Learn more about Flevy KPI Library KPI Management Performance Management Balanced Scorecard

Key Takeaways

In the context of Brand Strategy, a McKinsey study revealed that strong brands outperform weaker ones by up to 73% in terms of shareholder returns. This reinforces the importance of the organization's rebranding efforts and the potential impact on financial performance.

Another key insight is that brand consistency can increase revenue by up to 23%, according to a report by Forbes. Thus, the organization must ensure that the new brand strategy is communicated and experienced consistently across all customer touchpoints.

Lastly, a strong brand strategy not only enhances customer perception but also attracts top talent. According to LinkedIn, companies with strong brands see up to 50% cost reduction in hiring. This could be a strategic advantage for the organization in the competitive hospitality market.

Deliverables

  • Brand Strategy Report (PowerPoint)
  • Market Analysis and Competitive Benchmarking (Excel)
  • Customer Segmentation Model (Excel)
  • Visual Identity Guidelines (PDF)
  • Employee Brand Training Toolkit (PowerPoint)
  • Brand Performance Dashboard (Excel)

Explore more Brand Strategy deliverables

Brand Strategy Best Practices

To improve the effectiveness of implementation, we can leverage best practice documents in Brand Strategy. These resources below were developed by management consulting firms and Brand Strategy subject matter experts.

Case Studies

Marriott International's rebranding of its Moxy Hotels targeted a younger demographic, resulting in a 20% increase in occupancy rates within the first year of the rebrand.

Hilton's "Expect Better, Expect Hilton" campaign repositioned the brand to focus on customer experience, leading to a 7% growth in loyalty program memberships.

The Ritz-Carlton's revitalization of its brand through customer service excellence has consistently placed it at the top of luxury hotel rankings, illustrating the direct impact of brand strategy on market performance.

Explore additional related case studies

Ensuring Brand Strategy Aligns with Organizational Culture

One critical aspect that requires attention is the alignment of the new brand strategy with the organization's culture. A study by Bain & Company found that 68% of executives believe that their company's culture provides a competitive advantage. However, aligning a new brand strategy with existing cultural values can be challenging. It is paramount to ensure that employees at all levels understand and embody the brand values. This can be achieved through comprehensive training programs, internal communications, and incentive systems that reward behavior reflecting the brand promise. Additionally, leadership must lead by example, demonstrating a commitment to the brand's values through their actions and decisions. Without this alignment, there may be a disconnect between the brand promise made to customers and the actual experience delivered, which can lead to brand dilution and a negative impact on customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Learn more about Competitive Advantage Customer Satisfaction Leadership

Maximizing the Impact of Digital Channels in Brand Strategy

With the increasing importance of digital channels in customer engagement, executives must consider how these platforms are integrated into the brand strategy. According to McKinsey, businesses that leverage digital channels effectively can expect to see revenue growth five times greater than their peers who do not. The organization must ensure its online presence—from its website to social media platforms—accurately reflects the new brand identity and effectively communicates the brand promise. Digital marketing strategies should be optimized to reach the target demographic, utilizing data analytics to tailor content and offers. Additionally, the online customer experience must be seamless, intuitive, and reflective of the brand values. This will require investment in technology and possibly partnerships with digital marketing agencies or technology providers to maximize the reach and impact of the brand in the digital space.

Learn more about Data Analytics Revenue Growth

Measuring the Success of the Rebranding Initiative

Another key consideration is how to measure the success of the rebranding initiative. While KPIs such as Brand Awareness Index and Net Promoter Score provide valuable data, executives must look beyond these metrics to assess the long-term impact of the rebrand. For example, a report by Forrester indicates that customer-centric companies were 1.6 times more likely to report revenue growth of at least 10% year -over-year. Therefore, executives should also monitor customer-centric metrics, such as customer lifetime value (CLV) and customer acquisition cost (CAC), to evaluate the effectiveness of the rebrand in driving sustainable growth. Furthermore, brand tracking studies and market share analysis can provide insights into the brand's health and competitive positioning over time. By combining these metrics with financial performance data, executives will have a comprehensive view of the rebranding initiative's success and areas for further improvement.

Learn more about Net Promoter Score

Adapting the Brand Strategy to Global Markets

For organizations operating in multiple countries, a vital concern is how the brand strategy translates across different cultures and markets. A global brand study by Accenture revealed that 75% of consumers expect brands to make a contribution to their well-being and quality of life, highlighting the importance of culturally relevant brand positioning. Executives must ensure that the brand strategy is adaptable to local preferences and norms while maintaining a coherent global brand identity. This may involve creating a flexible brand framework that sets global brand standards while allowing for local customization. Collaboration with local teams is essential to understand market-specific nuances and to tailor the brand messaging accordingly. Additionally, global brand governance structures must be put in place to oversee the implementation of the brand strategy across markets and to ensure consistency in brand communications and experiences.

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Key Findings and Results

Here is a summary of the key results of this case study:

  • Increased brand awareness by 25% within the first year post-rebranding, as measured by the Brand Awareness Index.
  • Improved Customer Satisfaction Scores by 15%, reflecting a stronger alignment between brand promise and customer experience.
  • Net Promoter Score (NPS) rose by 20 points, indicating enhanced customer loyalty and willingness to recommend the hotel chain.
  • Occupancy Rate Growth of 10% was achieved, surpassing initial targets set at the beginning of the rebranding initiative.
  • Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR) increased by 18%, demonstrating a significant uplift in financial performance.

The rebranding initiative has been a resounding success, evidenced by substantial improvements across all key performance indicators. The increase in brand awareness and customer satisfaction scores directly correlates with the strategic emphasis on aligning the brand promise with customer expectations and experiences. The significant rise in the Net Promoter Score is particularly noteworthy, as it reflects not just satisfaction but the strengthened loyalty and advocacy among guests. While the financial metrics, including Occupancy Rate Growth and RevPAR, underscore the tangible impact of the rebranding on the bottom line, it's important to acknowledge that these results also highlight the effectiveness of integrating digital channels and aligning the brand strategy with organizational culture. However, there might have been opportunities to further amplify results by engaging more deeply in market-specific brand adaptations and leveraging advanced analytics to refine customer segmentation and personalization strategies.

For the next steps, it is recommended to focus on deepening the engagement with identified customer segments through tailored marketing strategies and personalized guest experiences. Additionally, investing in advanced data analytics will enable more nuanced customer insights, driving further improvements in customer satisfaction and loyalty. Expanding the brand's digital footprint, particularly in social media and mobile platforms, will also be crucial to maintaining momentum in brand awareness and engagement. Finally, considering the dynamic nature of the hospitality industry, continuous monitoring of market trends and customer feedback will be essential to ensure the brand remains relevant and competitive.

Source: Rebranding Initiative for Boutique Hospitality Group, Flevy Management Insights, 2024

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