Accor has traditionally been present in the midscale and economy segments, and has accelerated its expansion in upscale hotels by redefining its brand portfolio. The group now has 300 upscale and luxury hotels (Sofitel, Pullman, MGallery and Grand Mercure) and intends to increase this figure to 400 by 2015.
Yann Caillère, CEO of Accor comments, “Upscale and luxury segments are a key element of Accor’s strategy. Sofitel’s successful repositioning has given us strong credibility with our customers and investors in these markets. In 2007, we reestablished Pullman. Now, we have overhauled its identity and service offer and made it a unique brand in a highly competitive segment that will serve as a key lever to help us fulfill our ambitions in the upscale and luxury segment.”
Accelerating the expansion and transformation of the Pullman portfolio in 2012 - 2013
Pullman has hotels and resorts in 23 countries, in the world’s key business and tourism destinations. The network has grown very rapidly to 79 hotels in five years. The objective is to have 150 hotels by 2015-2020 and 500 in the long term. Half the brand’s network is currently located in Asia-Pacific, including 15 properties in China, which is the country where Pullman has the most hotels.
In 2012, Pullman’s network experienced unprecedented growth. Nearly twenty new properties were added to the network, notably in large capitals among which London, Bangkok, New Delhi and Sydney. This dynamic growth continues in 2013 with at least one opening a month, including the recent inauguration of addresses in Phuket, Dubai, Melbourne and Hanoi.
Christophe Vanswieten, Chief Operating Officer Pullman Europe explains, “Our expansion focuses on reinforcing our positions in Europe, opening hotels in strong-growth regions, notably Russia and Latin America, and continuing our growth in Asia-Pacific. In Europe, we will open in June our first hotel in Brussels, which will be the 80st property and Pullman’s 24th country. We are also implementing an unprecedented project in Paris with the renovation of our five properties over a 30-month period, ending in April 2014 with the emblematic renovation of the Pullman Paris Tour Eiffel.”
Pullman: a response to the expectations of the “new generation” of seasoned travelers
The behavior of upscale international travelers has changed significantly. These customers are now even more cosmopolitan, hyper-connected and mobile. The lines between work and private life are becoming increasingly blurred and the desire to stay connected with their “clans” is an increasingly key characteristic of new generation business travelers.
Gregoire Champetier, Global Chief Marketing Officer of Accor explains, “Comfort and high-quality, efficient services are intrinsic aspects of upscale hospitality. To differentiate ourselves in this market, it is imperative that we offer our guests emotion. Every trip must be an enriching experience that enhances performance and creativity at work without losing sight of the enjoyable and social dimension of travel. We have rethought Pullman’s positioning to respond to this fundamental trend.”
The name Pullman is in itself a powerful evocation of the concept of travel and comfort. The brand’s positioning has been defined in order to preserve but modernize these notions. All the details of its offer, the guest experience and the approach to hotel life have been rethought to make Pullman hotels places where guests are at home and interact in a contemporary setting.
Pullman reinvents its services and brand identity
Pullman has designed a new way of welcoming guests and providing an enjoyable hotel experience based on the motto “Work hard, Play hard”. The brand’s attitude is summarized by the term “Bleisure”, a contraction of the words “Business” and “Leisure”.
Style, contemporary art and design are at the core of Pullman’s new identity
Pullman has worked with famous designers to create iconic objects that link its hotels around the world. Christophe Pillet has reinterpreted guest welcome by creating a reception table with an easily identifiable design and an armchair inspired by train carriage seats echoing Pullman’s railroad origins.
Mathieu Lehanneur has designed a globe for the lobby that symbolizes the brand’s cosmopolitan nature. He has also created a range of items for meetings that reflect the new approach to the hotel experience with a board room in which the motto “Work hard, Play hard” takes on its full meaning since it features a meeting room table designed like a poker table, a private area for informal exchanges or breaks, a cabinet of curiosities, etc. All these features will stimulate creativity and also revisit hotel codes.
Pullman is also starting a collection of contemporary art. Initially in Paris, London and Brussels, this collection will symbolize the multiculturalism that is at the core of Pullman’s DNA. Contemporary art will be displayed in the hotels in permanent or temporary exhibitions, through partnerships with local or international artists, etc.
Fashion designer Martine Sitbon has also created a collection of attires for the Pullman teams. This collection reflects the brand’s desire to combine professionalism with style.
In each of its establishments, the brand has also worked with interior designers including Didier Rey, Jean- Philippe Nuel, Marcello Julia, Harald Klein, Didier Gomez, Isabelle Miaja, etc.
A reinvented food & beverage offer
With CuisinMotion by Pullman, the brand designs a resolutely modern approach and breaks with traditional hotel food and beverage codes creating an original culinary offer in each hotel. At any time of the day, in the hotel’s various eating areas, Pullman offers round-the-clock food and unique concepts through its own signature services: “Tapastry by Pullman” for friendly after-work gatherings; “Vinoteca by Pullman” and “Tea Deli by Pullman” which give guests a taste of flavors from around the world, and “Open Kitchen” which turns cooking into a show. The Pullman hotel restaurants and bars are places designed to foster interaction and discovery.
Easier access to and use of technology
Connectivity by Pullman is designed to offer guests a high-speed, mobile, intuitive and safe digital experience that is both enjoyable and efficient. The concept is available throughout the hotel, from the lobby to the swimming pool and features high-speed, free Wi-Fi, a unified entertainment device (the TV, smartphone and tablet are synchronized into one single application), latest generation equipment in partnership with Microsoft and Samsung available in dedicated spaces, connected rooms, etc. Pullman makes it easy for guests to access and use of all technologies.
“Design your journey”
To illustrate its new positioning, Pullman has worked with DDB (DDB Paris and Marie-Louise agencies) on a new advertising campaign that highlights the mindset and design of its hotels and resorts.
The shoots were carried out by British photographer Nick Meek and a new advertising signature was created: “Design Your Journey”. Advertising campaigns (billboards, printed press and Web) will be launched in 2013 and 2014.
Pullman has also completely revamped its graphic and editorial identity. The focus has been on transforming its logo by adding a symbol inspired by the yin and the yang to express the dual “Bleisure” aspect of the Pullman experience.
The spirit of Pullman is also reflected in its magazine “The Pullman Magazine” which has an editorial line that focuses on travel, design, and ideas, etc. Through this publication Pullman shares its passions and discoveries with travelers.
For more information on the Pullman’s new look go to pullmanhotels.com.
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