Marriott and Hilton Battle for Supremacy in the US as Sheraton Recovers

By Liz Healy

BDRC Americas reveals headlines from latest Hotel Guest Survey Brand Ranking Index

Washington DC, November 14th 2016

  • Marriott remains No.1 Brand in the US, leading Hilton by a fine margin thanks to slightly higher usage and a growing 1st / 2nd preference advantage
  • Hilton achieves the higher Brand Margin®, with consumers prepared to pay a 3.5% premium over Marriott and a 5.6% premium over the tier average
  • Best Western and Courtyard gaining ground on Hilton Garden Inn in the midscale
  • Hampton and Holiday Inn Express dominating the economy tier, with Hampton having the advantage on reputation and in its ability to command a price premium, but Holiday Inn Express is offering the greater reach.

Marriott continues to hold the edge as the leading hotel brand in the US – but only just. Latest results from BDRC, based on more than 10,000 traveler interviews, show the two rivals close to parity, with Marriott growing its lead on both usage and guest experience metrics, but Hilton marginally ahead on brand familiarity and also in terms of the price premium consumers are willing to pay for it.

Now operating under its new Marriott International ownership, Sheraton is the surprise riser in the latest rankings, climbing to 8th position overall, due to improving Net Promoter Scores. Best Western Plus is another stand out performer in the Upper Full Service tier, moving into the Top 40 for the first time, propelled by strong leisure usage figures.

Outside of the upscale tiers, there is also movement in the midscale. With a second consecutive quarter of decline on business usage, Hilton Garden Inn comes under pressure from Best Western and Courtyard by Marriott, falling behind Best Western in the overall Brand Ranking Index and seeing its lead over Courtyard close to a fine margin.

The US economy tier continues to be led by Hampton Inn / Hampton by Hilton, which maintains its lead over Holiday Inn Express on a composite measure of brand equity. Matthew Petrie, President of BDRC Americas, revealed that the two brands offer divergent alternatives to investors, commenting,

“When it comes to the overall reach of these brands, Holiday Inn Express is a compelling proposition which delivers excellent levels of consumer awareness and familiarity. But Hampton has a strong reputation based on guest experience which helps it to deliver significant value in the form of price premium.”

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