BDRC releases Unique Brand Advantage Rankings


With so many hotel brands co-existing in a crowded market, many in the hospitality sector are asking: which brands genuinely deliver value to owners and investors? A new index, Brand Advantage, launched by international research consultancy BDRC, provides fresh insights into the impact of a brand on a consumer’s willingness to pay more because of their emotional connection with the brand.

Brand Advantage rankings are available for the US and in 19 other major travel markets, enabling local and international brand and property owners to objectively evaluate a brand’s impact on consumers’ wallets.

Unlike brand rankings that report customer satisfaction, these results offer insights to brand and property owners about a brand’s ability to deliver a return on the cost of affiliation.

  • Despite the proliferation of brands in the market, it is clear that the majority of them do at least add some price premium over and above a comparable unbranded alternative. In the economy tier, brands on average add a premium of just over $5 – but the top performers add close to $15.
  • A small number of brands record negative premiums – implying that the brand has a negative connotation in the minds of travellers. The price point would have to be lower than an unbranded alternative for consumers to want to stay there.
  • The power of the major brand owners is evident in the results, with IHG taking the top position in both the economy and midscale tiers with its Holiday Inn Express and Holiday Inn brands, while Hilton Worldwide and Marriott International dominate in the upscale and luxury tiers.
  • Several brands achieve leadership positions through the extent of their ‘reach’ as much as their ability to command a premium. For example, in the midscale, Courtyard by Marriott and Hilton Garden Inn add greater value than Holiday Inn among those familiar with the respective brands – but Holiday Inn has a dominant position on brand familiarity.
  • The most dominant position in any tier is recorded by The Ritz-Carlton, by a significant margin the top-performing brand within the luxury tier – a consequence of enjoying both a high Brand Margin® and extensive familiarity reach.

“The release of Brand Advantage rankings provides an unbiased view of the impact a hotel brand has a consumer’s willingness to pay more for a hotel stay,” comments Matthew Petrie, President of BDRC Americas. “This data is essential for brand owners and hotel asset owners wishing to understand the genuine value that particular brands add.”

Brand Advantage and Brand Margin® are tracked within BDRC’s nationally representative Hotel Guest Survey (HGS), conducted in 20 major destination markets around the world. No other research on a domestic or international level provides this depth of insight by brand and service tier.