This week we welcomed a new brand of hotels for the millenial market: Moxy Hotels.
Believe it or not Swedish furniture maker Ikea teamed up with hotel management titan Marriott to develop a new chain of budget-luxury hotels for the tech-savvy, socially driven Millenial market. That’s right. Ikea is now developing hotels. But don’t expect your bed to be made of fiberboard and interiors for college dorm rooms. Moxy Hotels plans to show a whole new side of Ikea and with the high level of reliable service.
“‘We’ve got to be cool!’ Mr. Marriott exclaims, sitting in one of the last bastions of the old Marriott aesthetic – his office.”
As a follow-up to my post last week on CitizenM hotels, I want to feature the highly anticipated Ikea-Marriott love child brand, which opened their first hotel at the Milan Malpensa airport on Monday! So far there area several projects in the pipeline, all in Europe with plans to open 150 properties in the next 10 years. With a concept that almost exactly resembles a CitizenM hotel, the hotels “will feature small, low-cost rooms with grab-and-go food and the feel of a Silicon Valley startup.”
This match seems almost too perfect to be true. With the operational efficiency and affordable luxury that Millenials love about Ikea combined with the long-standing track record and fundamental hospitality mastery of Marriott, how could Moxy Hotels not be a success. And it’s also a step in the right direction for both veteran brands; while Ikea diversifies it’s portfolio with property development, Marriott is able to cool-up it’s brand image that until now is associated more with our parent’s family vacations growing up than the ones we’d like to take. Flawless leader and personal hero, Bill Marriott, discussed Moxy hotels in a Wall Street Journal article on Where Hotels are Going, citing startling figures for the future of the hospitality industry and how Marriott is evolving to deliver the experiences these new markets will be looking for. “In four years, 60% of our business will be Millennials,” says Mr. Marriott, who adds with a laugh, “All of us old folks are moving on. The collaboration brings to light a fundamental difference between classical and contemporary storytelling: a historical record. I imagine this will be a popular topic as I explore the concept storytelling for modern hotels and restaurants. The process of storytelling is often associated with historical buildings (either an old property or an adaptive reuse), recapitulates notable milestones as demonstrating long standing tradition. But by this definition, new properties face disadvantages for having a “shorter” story. While milestones will always be milestones, technology enables everyday operations to be featured on digital profiles constantly contributing to its archive through social interaction and individual personality. furthermore, technology offers precision and universal access to this information within the cocoon of online permanence.
Employing a contemporary storytelling strategy means crafting stories from genetic history, in this case integrating the history of Ikea and Marriott into Moxy creating a brand that not only strengthens the birth of a new brand but also extends, diversifies, and updates the image of the Ikea and Marriott brands. It highlights the concept of family when Moxy marries two industries via rather polemic brands. Only time will tell what the reality is for this collaboration, but one this is for sure: these brands have a lot of experience and are very good at what they do individually. Now it’s just a matter of seeing what comes from the collaboration.