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The customer does not perceive the economic side of the product but a real stylistic proposition

Florence Liger Tourres, VP marketing eco brands Southern Europe at Accor and Damien Perrot, Global Senior Vice President Design & Innovation at Accor presented the group's strategy for the ibis brands. This work began in 2017 and is now taking shape for the three variations of the brand, namely ibis Budget, ibis and ibis Styles.

Damien Perrot "To initiate and grow this transformation, we have focused on the customer and his or her expectations. Not only the hotel guest, but also the local resident who might come to the hotel. To create hotels where people can sleep, work and play. One of the central issues was to determine how the hotel opens up to the city.

Florence Liger Tourres: "We wanted to build on the reputation of the ibis brand. With market trends, we have to go further than the quality-price strategy. It's a strategy that started in 2017.  We were waiting to have concrete results to present to share it."

DP "We told ourselves that we had to rethink this ibis brand as if we were creating it today. Rather than doing this in France, as was the case when it was created, we approached teams in South America, Asia and Europe to gather their opinions. This enabled us to put in place a strategy that we were able to translate into designs.

We focused on the experience of spaces and places. We give customers a lot of freedom to enjoy these spaces. We have abolished this very transactional first contact in the hotel industry to welcome our customers in a living space. We have taken the reception area out and made it completely digital. We have worked on the architecture to make this place porous to the city.

At the ibis in Bethune, as soon as you enter the reception area, you go into a bar to create a friendly atmosphere. The restaurant was designed as a hybrid place that lives all day long. We have created 4 new restaurant concepts for a strong but simple F&B welcome. We have also created a cosy space where you can feel "at home". In the rooms, we have the Square concept which was defined in Asia and which works everywhere in the world. We adapt the concepts according to the location of the hotel and the tastes of the owner. Mobile furniture also facilitates renovation.

F LT: "This hotel hosts concerts and provides a guitar. This property has achieved a 90% customer satisfaction rate in the first few months of opening. We provide standardisation with a catalogue of concepts that allows us to best meet the expectations of our partners and the needs of the market."

DP: "We want the customer to remember their stay in the hotel.

For ibis Budget, we are on the urban sport codes. Ie the ping pong table can also be used for breakfast. We have a clientele of workers who come to our budget ibis. They will be able to take over the spaces.

We have not treated the ceiling to save budget to treat elements that will serve the customer experience. In the staircases we propose challenges to prefer the staircase to the lift."

F LT: "In the ibis Budget in Nancy, we have achieved a real transformation. On Google we have satisfaction levels of 4.6/5, which is the top 10 hotels to visit in the destination. One of the points that came out of the customer surveys was that the brand lacked dynamism. We have done everything to remedy this."

DP: "We wanted to go further in the programming of spaces by offering much larger rooms. This way, we can meet the needs of families. We put this design out to tender as well, and the agency designer who won was one of the winners of the Accor design Awards."

F LT: "At the ibis Styles Montauban we are on a totally de-standardised concept that meets customer expectations. This is what is reflected in our communication campaign.

DP: "This de-standardisation meets the new standards. Depending on the destination, we will have a different identity in each property.

F LT: "At ibis we are keeping this concept of 3 designs with toolkits for cost reasons. For ibis Styles we are keeping the Sweetbed marker which is a strong marker of ibis standards, with breakfast which is another strong standard."

DP: "For ibis Styles, this very specific interpretation of each market makes the experience more premium. The customer does not perceive the economic side of the object but a real stylistic proposal. This makes them more timeless places for our partners.

FLT: "ibis Styles is the brand that is developing the most in France. Budget brands are very interested in design and we have very different brands.

DP: "Today, customers no longer choose brands according to their segment or price but according to the experience they offer.

Design is a creative tool, but it is also a midscale way of delivering performance for our investors. The ibis agora in Barcelona is 80% more turnover in the restaurant business and 30% more customer retention. We also wanted to measure the eco-design performance of this design. On the ibis Budget we emit 0.2 tonnes per m², on the Agora model 0.09 tonnes per m² of CO². We wanted a fair value for our sustainable development ambition. To further improve this result and this carbon footprint.

All these transformations that we are making are also accompanying the employees so that the service changes."

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