Best Western is one of the largest American hotel chains, with more than 4,100 hotels worldwide, operated as a non-profit member association. Last week, it announced sweeping changes in its branding with new visual identities for most of its brands.
In recent years Best Western has diversified its offerings from one unified hotel brand to seven different and it is hoped that these changes will clarify the differences within the newly expanded brand portfolio. In addition to the main brand, two other sub-brands - Best Western Plus and Best Western Premier - have been given new looks. The entire company is about to change is name from Best Western International to Best Western Hotels & Resorts, which also means a new corporate logo.
The new logos have opted for a "friendlier" look with a typeface that resembles handwriting. It is hoped that the three-dimensional aspect of the monograms will help them stand out among other hotel logos. Notably absent is the crown that has adorned Best Western logos for over fifty years.
The changes are subject to approval from a membership conference in mid-November. The roll-out is scheduled to start in January 2016, with a major campaign due in the summer.
The Best Western logo was last changed back in 1993. ListerButler was the agency behind that change. Before they used various versions of an emblem introduced in the 60s, which according to some sources was designed by the chain's founder M. K. Guertin (although that should probably be taken with a pinch of salt). A brief history of Best Western's visual identity can be seen below, provided by Best Western.
To top the announcement, Best Western also revealed a new hotel brand called GLō. It will be the organisation's seventh consumer brand and targets the "savvy traveler". It's logo can be seen below.
Full brand portfolio.
From a press release:
"For more than two decades, Best Western has had a familiar, recognizable, and visible logo. But with our investments in this 69-year old brand during the last ten years, we need to make consumers aware of the exciting improvements in our brand. We are embracing our future with a completely reimagined brand identity that clarifies our exceptional offerings and broadens our appeal with a contemporary, energetic and relevant look. We started over. These new logos are dramatically different and illustrate the amazing products and offerings of today’s Best Western." - President and CEO David Kong in a press release
More from the press release:
In another major move to better represent the quality and variety of its offerings, Best Western International will also be renamed Best Western Hotels & Resorts and use a new logo to identify the master company for its seven distinct brands: Best Western, Best Western Plus®, Best Western Plus Executive Residency®, Best Western Premier®, Vîb®, BW Premier Collection® and GLô, the company’s new broad midscale, new construction hotel brand. Best Western is also clarifying the differences between each hotel type by introducing new logos for Best Western, Best Western Plus and Best Western Premier. In addition, the rebranding emphasizes the brand’s initials — BW — in the new logo, which will be used across all communications channels, especially resonating in the digital space where space for a name is limited.
The effort to create new logos has been two years in the making and has included input from travelers, travel buyers, partners and Best Western’s global hotel owners. As part of this rebranding, Best Western is focused on contemporizing the look of the company and placing more of an emphasis on all seven of the company’s hotel brands. Best Western used today’s graphic design and digital printing capabilities to create an array of logos that use special effects to be distinctive and striking to consumers, but are also functional in various settings. Highlights of the new logos include:
• The Best Western Hotels & Resorts masterbrand logo pulls through the company’s current blue color, updated with a modern hue and uses the distinctive hand drawn lettering which was created to be contemporary, friendly and memorable. This logo will clearly define that Best Western is a company of hotels and resorts across the globe with brands that meet the needs of today’s travelers.
• The design of the Best Western hotel brand logo utilizes the hand drawn lettering, which is familiar and personable and pulls through the company’s updated blue color. The centerpiece globe comes to life through the use of special effects such as gradient, highlighting and a 3-D treatment. These effects will be distinctive within the hotel industry which traditionally uses two-dimensional logos.
• The Best Western Plus logo picks up on the brand’s traditional use of red, incorporates the signature lettering and draws more emphasis to the word “Plus” using a contemporary tapered line. The diamond shape, inspired by the shape of a mobile app, distinguishes it from the Best Western hotel brand logo by giving it a more premium look within the upper midscale segment.
• The Best Western Premier logo uses a classic yet contemporary font along with unique design elements to exude elegance and style. The BWP monogram brings an iconic expression with its multi-dimensional elliptical shape. The Premier word mark uses customized lettering and is accentuated with a tapered line and ties it to the Best Western masterbrand.
“These logos illustrate the clear differentiation between our brands. They not only represent the force Best Western is today, but also help define the new voice of Best Western for the future,” said Dorothy Dowling, senior vice president of marketing and sales for Best Western. “These logos have also been created for their functionality. Unlike many brands our logos must deliver business across various mediums, including a roadside sign during the daytime and night, inside and outside a hotel, on collateral, and in the digital space.”
The new identity can be further explored on a special minisite.
Press release 1 2