Why Hotel Chains Have So Many Brands

"Christmas Around the World" at Gaylord National Resort near Washington, D.C.

Marriott, after its 2016 merger with Starwood, now has 30 different hotel brands. Shouldn't it be cutting that number down? If the typical employee doesn't know the 30 brands and what distinguishes each of them, surely hotel customers don't. Hilton has 15 brands.

Why are hotel companies keeping so many brands? Josh Barro of New York magazine explains:

In 2016, Marriott Hotels, which had 19 hotel brands, merged with Starwood, which had 11. They didn’t abolish any brands in the merger, and so the company faced a challenge: How to explain to customers, or even to its own employees, what makes all 30 of these brands different from each other.

So shortly after the merger, the company produced this cutesy matrix: — J. Barro, New York Intelligencer

Photo: Christmas Around the World at Marriott's Gaylord National Resort in National Harbor, Md. (right outside of Washington, D.C.). The fifth Gaylord hotel just opened today (December 19, 2018) in Aurora, Colorado.