Hilton Introduces New Hotel Brand With Millennial Mindset

Tru by Hilton Expected To Open First Property In Late 2016

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Tru by Hilton's envisioned lobby
Tru by Hilton's envisioned lobby Credit: Courtesy of Hilton

Hilton Worldwide is introducing a new midscale hotel brand, Tru by Hilton, aimed at appealing to consumers of all ages who share values around what the company refers to as the "millennial mindset."

The new line is expected to open its first property in late 2016 and is looking to attract business and leisure travelers "united" by a common, youthful outlook, said Alexandra Jaritz, global head, Tru by Hilton, via email.

"These travelers tend to have similar expectations and travel attitudes, including a desire for human connection, an emphasis on personalization, and an environment that fosters creating experiences because creating memories is important to them," she said.

The brand's target audience also wants hotel basics, such as a great bed and technology integration, done well and at an affordable price point, said Ms. Jaritz.

Tru is initially focused on the U.S. and Canada and already has 102 signed hotels in place with an additional 30 in stages of approval. It will open in markets such as Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Chicago, Denver, Portland, and Nashville.

In addition to the name "Tru" being understandable for guests, Hilton chose the moniker because it reflects its brand pillars of being "simplified, spirited and grounded in value," said Ms. Jaritz. The name also has creative legs and a sense of innovation to help it gain awareness, she said, noting that the word has associations with friendship, being true to your word and True North.

"It's a simple, yet memorable name," she said.

"By Hilton" was tacked on as a way to add value to the brand for owners and ensure guests of its reliability.

The Brand Consultancy, which Ms. Jaritz has worked with in the past, was hired to help the brand develop its fundamental elements, including the brand pillars, personality, messaging, logo, visual expression and launch communications. GSD&M has and will continue guiding the brand on its digital and social media efforts.

To stand out from Hilton Worldwide's other niche hotels, Tru will put a strong emphasis on how it represents the brand in its advertising campaigns, said Ms. Jaritz.

"It will be visually represented through spirited photos with playful and vibrant colors; custom, fun illustrations; circular shapes, not only to invoke our logo, but also to convey that we are different; and the custom vernacular we've created for this brand using three-letter words like zip, jam and fit," she said.

The brand will also put a lot of focus on connecting with consumers through social, such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. Hotel lobby areas will even include a social media wall.

When asked if Tru by Hilton was created as way to combat the rising popularity of Airbnb, Ms. Jartiz said: "The consistency, quality, exceptional customer service and overall experience this brand will provide at an affordable price point simply cannot be offered by non-traditional providers."

Ms. Jaritz declined to disclose the brand's marketing budget, but said "we will have significant reach due to our brand-focused and portfolio marketing strategies."

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