Best Western has been around for nearly 70 years. The familiar logo set against a blue background with a red crown on top of the words “Best” is being replaced with a modern looking brand.
Here’s how the brand logo has evolved over the years:
From 1993, the brand logo has been fairly consistent. On a couple of occasions the logo has been changed in quick succession. The new look is more modern and is likely to be web and social media friendly. The new logo is actually three different logos:
What is the motive behind this move? It is partly an attempt to refresh the brand and make it relevant to the millenials. The last major refresh of the logo happened 22 years ago. The new one is more mobile/app and social media friendly.
It also an attempt by Best Western to stretch its brands upward. Best Western is synonymous with budget hotels. Over the years, they have added many properties that are upscale and offer lot of amenities. Notice how BWP Premier (the luxury brand) gets as endorsement from Best Western, but has a completely different look and color scheme. The Best Western name itself is unlikely to succeed as a luxury brand.
Lastly, with the advent of boutique hotels and the lower-end option provided by Airbnb, there may be an over supply of rooms. Traditional hotel chains have to offer more if they want to grow.
The new logo is not visually stunning, by any means. The proposed brand architecture seems appropriate. If the logo change is backed by a better customer experience at the more than 4000 Best Western properties, then it will be make an impact. A mere logo change without any meaningful change in the customer experience will make no difference.
Best Western has a franchise model with individual franchise owners having a fair amount of autonomy. Changing the signage and new promotional materials will not be inexpensive. But getting the franchisees to go along with substantive changes to the customer experience will be the bigger challenge.