The concept of brand management strategies primarily depends on how effective an organization respond to the corporate and dynamic business environment (Foroudi, 2019). Therefore, Hilton Worldwide Holdings is not an exemption, as it should align its brand management strategies with similar organizations in the same industry. Hilton Worldwide Holding formerly, known as the Hilton Hotels Corporation, is an American based multinational company operating in the hospitality industry (Noonan & Rankin, 2017). Blackstone Group, a private equity organization, assumes the ownership of the company. Hilton is among the largest hotels in the globe having over 90 branches. The corporation's brands cover approximately 4000 hotels and more than 640,000 available rooms. In terms of market share and revenue Hilton Worldwide has been ranked as the 38th largest corporation, operating in the United States (Noonan & Rankin, 2017).
Notably, the collaborative strength of both management and employees is essential for effective brand management. The corporation currently manages and owns franchises and portfolios of brands, including Waldorf Astoria Resorts, Conrad Hotels, among other brands. Founded by Conrad, Hilton has its headquarters in Texas, United States. Moreover, the corporation reported a revenue of USD 9.7 billion in the 2013 financial year and is listed in the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) trading with the name HTL (Noonan & Rankin, 2017). Undeniably from the corporation's data and information above, it is evident that the Hilton is a successful corporation. However, success has been due to sound brand management strategies. Therefore, the paper aims to critically analyze past and present management strategies of Hilton and draw conclusive thoughts and recommendations afterward.
Multiple advancements have transformed brand management in the corporate globe, including strategies for luxury brands over the past decades in the hospitality industry. Notably, the key indicators of brand management strategies have been driven by consumer taste and preference, technological advancement, desire to grow, and the quest to cope with competition in the corporate ecosystem (Noonan & Rankin, 2017). Hilton, past management strategies did not provide a viable opportunity for effective brand management. The past ownership and management structure of Hilton has a significant difference compared to the present management strategies. First is the ownership management. Hilton hotel was managed and operated by the owner, Conrad. Despite having few employees, key strategic decisions concerning brand management and overall growth of the organization solely rested with the owner. Ideally, the strategy is unideal as it locks out the input of other people in the management and thus hindering adoption of effective brand management techniques. Therefore, the management association is being hindered by self-ownership.
The second past management strategy is independence and market entry modes. Previously, Hilton wan not chain affiliate. The owner was not involved in the management of the organization. The strategy replaced the setback of independent ownership of the owners, and thus an independent group was responsible for the organization and performance of the Hotel. Conrad was not be actively involved in the organization's operations and thus eliminated possible conflict of interest. Moreover, strategies of market entry, including franchising, were developed to increase Hilton Worldwide global market share. However, franchising was associated with ineffective control of some brands hence the need for more advanced and improved strategies. Similar to franchising, most corporations, including Hilton, have adopted management contracts arrangement along franchising to mitigate infective controls. Therefore, it can be evident that management contracts arrangement is one of the new managements and development strategies of Hilton that have attributed to its global success (Noonan & Rankin, 2017).
The need for more effective and strategies was implemented that have increased brand recognition of the Hilton Hotel. Current management strategies of Hilton, include management associations agreement accompanied by an analysis of the organization operating environment for effective brand management that suits the consumers. Besides, environmental analysis, Hilton Worldwide brand management strategies focus on differentiation of their entire services. The corporation differentiates its services based on such aspects, including quality, advanced level of communication, and information and incorporation (Kwun, 2012). The hotels under this umbrella categorize their services based on service-recognition, status, achievement, and position. Therefore, Hilton provides customer centric-related services to the end-users. Consequently, management strategies ha significantly improved brand management. For instance, luxury brands have significantly benefited through improved management strategies. For instance, luxury brands which are product-based have significantly expanded Hilton's operations from the grassroots level to the global level through effective management, including eCommerce and multiple online platforms.
Another brand management strategy has been definite statement of the vision, mission, and values of the organization. Management of Hilton values and view the customers as the main asset of the company. By designing and creating values directed towards customers, the public feels part of the organization and thus not only promotes growth but increased brand management (Schaffer, 2010). Moreover, the mission and values are effective and thus sound sign of good management of the organization. The mission of the corporation statement reads that, "to be the preeminent global hospitality company, the first choice of guests, team members and owners alike". The corporation has created a good strategic mission that in itself is a self-brand management move to comfort for most customers (Kwun, 2012). Besides, the mission, the Hilton, also has a dominant and vision. The mission reads "To fill the earth with the light and warmth of hospitality". Other values that have promoted brand management include such values as good leadership, integrity, and intelligent ownership of the management and the owners. Therefore, the financial health of the corporation has been stabled due to the mentioned brand management strategies, and such mechanisms are being constantly reviewed to facilitate smooth operations into a foreseeable future.
Notably, brand management strategies also depend on the ability of Hilton management to assess its internal and external operating environment. The management has also employed a number of strategic management techniques, which is also significant for the hotel management. Such methods have included SWOT analysis which acts as indicators on areas that need improvements by identifying loopholes in the existing operation and initiative relevant corrective actions. SWOT analysis is a strategic tool for the Management of Hilton used to analyze potential strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. The organization can capitalize of the viable opportunities to increase its management capabilities. For instance, Hilton has such strengths including brand awareness, technical innovation and increased employee retention (Kwun, 2012). Through the analysis of the internal environment, the management would be wary of the problem and impending threats hence leading to good planning and forecasting. The primary mantra of SWOT analysis is to strengthen the operations of the Hilton by making effective decisions based on the information on its brands.
In comparison to Marriot Internationals Hotels, the management strategies are almost similar due to strong analysis of the competitor strategy. Marriott International incorporates multiple management strategies, especially at the entrepreneurial stage. This strategy has enabled the organization to have diversified risk management allowing the organization to control as a significant market share slightly above Hilton. However, according to recent market financial report of NYSE, Hilton's total brands in its portfolio have overtaken Marriott's. The company reported on financial year 2018/2019 stands at US$14.69 billion, which is almost US$1.9 billion above Marriott's at US$12.8 in the hospitality industry (Foroudi, 2019). The two corporations have an effective strategy of adopting a market differentiation approach as part of their strategy for effective management. For instance, just like Hilton, Marriot has an effective differentiation management plan factored in its growth strategy by developing services and products that meet the preference of the customers.
Marriott Hotels implemented its differential strategy by incorporating market segmentation strategies with every operation move of the corporation. However, the management promptly realized that some brands were not capable of offering efficient catering to every need and taste of the guest. Therefore, management adopted a hotel chain with extensive differentiation by creating multiple brands. As a result, the hotel chain utilized an extensive strategy of differentiation by creating various hotel brands (Lane Keller, 2014). Undeniably, most corporations in the hospitality have proved competitive due to intense and effective brand management strategies put in place. Both Marriot and Hilton have got diverse portfolio management strategies which have made them big players in the hospitality industry. However, Marriot has a more significant size than Hilton. The portfolio diversification has led to reduced risk reduction while maximizing returns. Just like Hilton, Marriot has focused on management by associate agreement to pursue increased development. It is also worth noting that the company has taken advantage of internet technology, with a strong and effective website that guarantees effective online transactions, advertisement, and communication with related parties.
In conclusion, for every organization to continue in existence for the foreseeable future, it must incorporate various brand management strategies. Brand management strategies form the basis of functional marketing that integrates various strategies to boost the perceived value of the brand over time. Effective brand management enables the price of products and services to shoot and builds good customer loyalty through positive brand image and relationships. Hilton has taken initiatives of effective brand management by its constant desire to increase and diversify its portfolio in different target markets across the globe. Moreover, studies have suggested that organizations that prompt response to the loopholes in their operating environment have proved competitive in the long run. Therefore, it is for this purpose that Hilton has diversified its market portfolio of different brands to meet the wide and diverse consumers across the globe.
Ideally, Hilton should incorporate the following recommendations. First, despite enjoying a good percentage of customer loyalty, the corporation should consider changing its pricing strategy since it has the same pricing strategy for each consumer. The target market should be segmented, with different prices charged according to affordability. Secondly, being a large corporation, most strategic decisions are made by high profile executives and thus a need to incorporate management by objectives (MBO), this would make employees motivated since they would form part of the decision-making process and thus lead...
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