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Journey to Brand Manager

In 2013, IHG launched Journey to Brand Manager, a global professional development programme to help our experienced General Managers build their capability and success in driving hotel performance by consistently delivering our brand promises to every guest, in every hotel. Since then, almost 2,000 GMs have started their journey to becoming true brand ambassadors.

At IHG, we know that a brand is more than the name of a company that sells a product or a service. Our brands are promises that we make to our guests, to fulfil their needs, live up to and exceed their expectations and deliver a great guest experience with every stay. And the General Managers at each of the more than 4,700 IHG-branded hotels around the world are key to fulfilling our brands’ promises.

This is why we are investing in our GMs’ professional development and supporting them to become true Brand Managers. The Journey to Brand Manager programme was developed and delivered in cooperation with the IHG Owners Association and over 150 colleagues from global and regional functions and operational teams. 

What makes Journey to Brand Manager special? It isn’t just a training event or a class, it truly is a journey:

  •  Learn, apply and share! The programme kicks off with several weeks of online-based learning related to brand concepts. What makes my brand special? How do I deliver a great branded guest experience? And it comes with materials that allow our GMs to facilitate team learning at the hotel, from job aids to videos and activity kits to drive awareness and skills to more consistently deliver the brand to our target guests.
  • We flipped the classroom! The event isn’t about sitting in your chair listening to someone else telling you what to do. Our GMs are encouraged to get involved and share their experiences and best practices with their colleagues, to build support networks and to come up
  • The journey continues… After the event, GMs return to their hotels with concrete actions plans to bring the brands to life and ensure that their teams understand the brands and their importance as true brand ambassadors.with their own personal approach for what being a great Brand Manager means to them.

The programme was launched for Holiday Inn®, Holiday Inn Resorts® and Holiday Inn Express® brand GMs in 2013, with the first event held in October 2013 during the annual Americas Leaders’ Conference in Las Vegas. It attracted 1,500 participants, more than any IHG training event before – an exciting and confident launch that gained the attention of everyone at IHG and saw the programme win two internal awards. Following this great start, the programme was rolled out in Europe, AMEA and Greater China, delivering training and ongoing support to almost 2,000 GMs globally. 

Since then, we have seen positive results on GM turnover and, most importantly, great feedback from the participants, 90% of whom said they would recommend the programme to others. IHG intends to create equivalent programmes that are right for each brand in the future, with a programme specific to the Crowne Plaza® brand scheduled to launch in 2015.