Friday, November 28, 2008

The Gateway Hotel : Smart and Sophisticated

Brand : The Gateway
Company : Indian Hotels Company Ltd ( Taj Hotels)

Brand Analysis Count : 360

Following the success of the budget hotel brand Ginger, Tata owned IHCL has launched a new hotel brand The Gateway.

The Gateway is a new contemporary modern hotel aimed at the new generation travelers. The hotel is positioned one level above Ginger and two level below the Taj Residency brand. Gateway is aiming at the business travelers who look for comfort and convenience.

IHCL now has four aiming at different segments
Taj : The high end luxury hotel aimed at the super rich.
Residency : The upscale premium hotel.
Gateway : Medium range hotel
Ginger : Budget

Gateway is positioned as a smart ,upscale, midmarket full service hotel providing hassle free contemporary superior service. The brand aims at perfect service without much fuss .
In the case of hotel industry, the predominant segmentation criterion is based on the room tariffs. IHCL feels that there is a gap between the budget hotel and the Residency brand.
This mid market segment offers maximum potential and consists of business travelers and tourists. The tariffs vary according to the locations but reports say that the range is between Rs 3000-Rs 6000.

During the first phase of the launch, the company plans to rebrand some of its Residency Hotels into Gateway. The company has identified sixteen hotels for the rebranding .

Gateway is trying to have an independent identity which is removed from the Taj brand. IHCL is now planning to retain the Taj brand as its Luxury brand. Hence it had the task of creating the distinct identity for the new brand -Gateway.

The Gateway brand is built on contemporaryness while Taj is rooted in heritage. So in the branding parlance, both these brands are poles apart.
The logo of Gateway is designed by the global design firm Landor Associates which had designed the logo for Ginger. The logo reflects the brand values of modernity and simplicity.

The Gateway hotel has already run a series of print campaigns as a part of its launch. The series of ads feature some offbeat successful personalities like Rahul Bose and Shobha De.
The choice of these celebrities was aimed at positioning the brand as a hotel for the new age successful personalities.
The brand has tried to differentiate itself through careful drafting of its service offering. Inorder to create a better service output, Gateway has divided its offering into seven zones which are

The brand thinks that its customers may have needs in any of these 7 zones.The brand aims to satisfy the customers in all these zones. The brand also offers flexibility like breakfast till 2 pm , option for night workout etc. The chain of Gateway hotels also provides a convenient choice for the frequent travelers. In the segment which Gateway targets, there is a need for such a hotel chain.

Although Gateway is trying to create an independent identity, the endorsement of Taj brand will go a long way in establishing the brand during the initial years.