Differentiating Upscale Hospitality Series: Orient Express

30-day Challenge – Day 12

Today, I am looking at emerging themes in luxury with a focus on the hospitality industry. With rooms becoming commoditized, hotels have but one option to capture the hearts of its customers – differentiate. How do you differentiate one luxury hotel brand from another? Well, for starters we are way past thread counts, serving sumptuous breakfasts, and delivering the morning newspaper. Upscale hotels are having to differente themselves on the experiences they can provide their guests. In the next posts, I’ll talk about how some hotel groups are doing just that. We’ll kick off the series with Orient Express. 

Orient Express

A brand synonymous with Agatha Christie novels, Orient Express is more than just luxury trains. The company has a total of 49 upscale businesses across 24 countries (40 hotels, six luxury tourist trains, two river cruise operations, and one restaurant).

As part of its rebranding strategy, Orient Express has implemented a digital campaign in the US to bring attention to the company’s ownership of one-of-a-kind properties such as Hotel Cipriani in Venice, Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge, the Hiram Bingham train and many others. By introducing current and future customers to the enticing experiences at its propeties, Orient Express intends to create consumer desire for its family of brands. The campaign, titled A Journey Like No Other is housed at a company microsite where visitors can follow the travel experiences of fictional characters to iconic Orient Express properties.

A large proportion of our customer base comes from the US, which is why we are choosing to test this campaign here,” said Orient-Express’ Chief Marketing Officer, David Williams. “Whilst many of our properties, such as ’21’ in New York, the Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town and Maroma Resort & Spa in Mexico, are well known in their own right, through this campaign we want to raise awareness of the name behind these properties with customers both present and future. Each Orient-Express property has personality, character, a certain class and style. They inspire creativity and connect our guests with the culture and lifestyle of the destination. These curated films bring that world to life.

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