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NH Collection Launch Germany

In 2016, NH Hotel Group launched the premium brand NH Collection in Germany with a 360° campaign that sparked long-term partnerships and rocketed brand awareness.

NH Hotel Group operates four hotel brands: NH Hotels, nhow, Hesperia Resorts and NH Collection. The latter is the most recent addition to the portfolio and the Group’s premium offer, which caters to guests looking for individualized care, premium services and facilities at strategic urban locations. In line with the overall expansion plan and brand segmentation strategy laid down in NH’s 5-Year Strategic Plan, NH Collection was launched in Germany in 2016.

Approach

To familiarize the potential clientele, important influencers and catalysts with the new brand, a 360° marketing and communication campaign was set up. It addressed various groups of stakeholders with an orchestrated mix of actions during the entire launch, from hotel closures and refurbishment through (p)re-openings to the highlight event in May 2016 and beyond.
The various groups of end customers were addressed with tailored messages in diverse channels and media, including audiovisual social media content, online and offline advertisements, advertorials and editorials. Throughout the European football championship, a brand video was broadcast in Vienna’s public viewing area to over 1.5 million people. Raffles, opening promotions and other tactical measures were used to entice potential clients to get to know the brand first-hand.
In line with the brand slogan, “feel the extraordinary”, key intermediaries like travel agencies and bookers as well as international press and media influencers were invited to experience themselves the features that distinguish NH Collection, e.g. during fam-trips and site inspections (incl. pre-opening sneak peeks). The trips were supported with back-up materials in a variety of formats. Thematic scope ranged from general brand data to in-depth stories e.g. about NH Collection’s Michelin star cuisine and cutting-edge technology offers (incl. large-sized LED walls). During a comprehensive 3-days program in Berlin, the international press explored not only the NH Collection hotels but also the NH Hotels and nhow brands – to even better understand the distinctions.
NH’s employees were involved in the entire launch progress too, via newsletters, town hall meetings, road shows and trainings. Moreover, they were actively encouraged to act as brand ambassadors on social media and in daily life.

Special partnerships were forged with clients, selected influencers and advocates from arts and culture, e.g. the Reina Sofia music academy (Madrid) and renowned video art curator Leo Kuelbs (New York). As part of the collaboration with Kuelbs, NH initiated the NH Collection Video Art Award. The aim is to promote emerging video artists and showcase NH Collection’s commitment to art and technology as a means to create inspiring and memorable moments. The Berlin Gallery Weekend in April 2016 provided an ideal platform to teaser the award as well as the brand launch to a large audience of art lovers by showing video art on the 30 m² LED screen installed at NH Collection Berlin Friedrichstrasse. The award winner has the chance to present his work to international art lovers and experts on the 300 m² Vault LED screen at NH Collection Madrid Eurobuilding on the occasion of the Contemporary Art Fair in February 2017. This follow-up event also serves to extend the reach of the launch campaign well into 2017.
At the peak of media attention in May 2016, NH held a spectacular launch event in Berlin with approx. 300 select guests from the economy, media, politics, society etc. to officially welcome the new brand on the German hotel market. The event concept was dedicated to the NH Collection brand promise “feel the extraordinary”, starting with a press conference attended by the Spanish Ambassador, and including show cooking by a 5 Michelin star team of chefs as well as numerous artistic highlights.

Outcome and outlook

The sweeping success of the 360° launch campaign has anchored NH Collection in the minds of potential guests and influencers. It has also considerably improved NH Hotel Group’s market position in relation to its competitors.
Press coverage in the first four weeks following the event generated an AVE of approx. 200,000 € in the German-speaking market alone. Strategic long-term partnerships were forged during the launch, e.g. with the Berlin tourist board (Visit Berlin) and several touristic operators with extraordinary products and services fitting the NH Collection clientele. These and the NH Collection Video Art Award enable NH Collection to continue to surprise with extraordinary events, services and stories, both about the brand and individual hotels, thus constantly increasing the buzz.
Visits to the newly-created website nh-collection.com doubled immediately after the launch. The NH Collection Facebook profile gained over 28,000 followers in its first 12 months. Most importantly, a study by the market researcher GfK, dating from August 2016, lists prompted brand awareness at 24% for the German market, up from scratch.

Autre document : Annex