‘This isn’t a rebrand’: InterContinental unveils science-backed global brand strategy

by Ruth Hogan

IHG’s luxury and lifestyle portfolio InterContinental Hotels and Resorts has unveiled a global brand evolution that aims to reimagine the luxury travel experience.

Centred around cultural connection, cutting-edge technology, innovative design, and exceptional hospitality, the new era of InterContinental aims to strike a balance between ‘freedom and familiarity’ in a bid to satisfy the demands of modern luxury travellers. Guests can expect new offerings and experiences, a fresh brand culture, unique brand differentiators, and a food and beverage and hotel design strategy “tailored to the traveller of tomorrow”. “This isn’t a rebrand or repositioning; rather, it’s a comprehensive transformation from start to finish of InterContinental, ensuring we stay at the forefront of crafting a luxury experience for the modern luxury traveller,” said IHG Hotels and Resorts Vice President of Luxury Brands, Tom Rowntree “Collaborating with our 215 hotels worldwide, we are committed to delivering precisely what todays and tomorrows guests, owners and colleagues require. “At its core, this brand evolution revolves around our exceptional team members globally. Alongside a new brand service platform, we’re introducing a fresh brand culture and a range of programmes aimed at attracting and retaining the finest talent in the industry. “Our colleague brand culture is grounded in InterContinental’s core belief that travel expands the mind. We unite in diversity and wherever you are in the world, you belong at InterContinental.” In an effort to create seamless transitions in the guest experience, new initiatives include scientifically backed food and beverage programmes to help guests reduce travel fatigue. Guests will also receive access to jet lag app, Timeshifter, to help them adjust quickly to new time zones. A collaboration with neuroscience-based designer Isabelle Sjovall sees guestrooms specially tailored to aid recovery from travel fatigue. Taking a leading role in connecting guests to the culture of each destination, the concierge will play an even more significant role. Going beyond the standard concierge desk, Innovative Concierge Galleries in hotel lobbies will present local, cultural knowledge in an interactive luxury boutique setting with library spaces, displays, informative features and, in some cases, art installations or designer pop-ups. Micro-occasions from birthdays to baby showers will be elevated through a new Incredible Occasions program featuring bookable intimate spaces around the hotel with amenities and experiences on offer such as tablescapes, candlelit dinners or private masterclasses. InterContinental will also unveil specially designed Celebration Suites globally where guests can go a step further to enjoy lavish dinner parties or landmark birthdays. Design and timeless style across the diverse portfolio of properties will be elevated under the umbrella of “Cultivated Elegance”, explained IHG Hotels and Resorts Global Head of Design for Luxury Brands, Melissa Messmer. “Each InterContinental hotel or resort is an experience-driven bespoke concept, tied together by our new Design Pillars that form the strength of our brand design style, Cultivated Elegance,” Messmer said. With 93 new hotels and resorts in the pipeline, IHG said these latest concepts will shape the future of InterContinental.