Jin Jiang Hotels to rebrand its portfolio of properties

25 Jun 2013 by ReggieHo
J Hotel Shanghai
Jin Jiang International Hotel Management Company (Jin Jiang Hotels), China's largest hotel management company, is seeking to rebrand its 116 properties across 75 cities in China and embark on global expansion plans. Cinn Tan, senior vice-president, marketing & sales of Jin Jiang Hotels, revealed to Business Traveller that other than establishing its new premium "J" brand, with its first property J Hotel Shanghai Tower scheduled to open in 2015 (see stories here and here), the company is also repositioning their lines of five-, four- and three-star hotels. According to Tan, what they did was to "grow the structure and build a strong backbone for the company by going through a thorough brand building journey". Other than "J", there will also be five-star properties grouped under the Jin Jiang brand, including a heritage collection, followed by four-star Jin Jiang properties and the Marvel Hotels, which are geared towards business travellers. "Hopefully by the end of this year, all our different hotel brands will be united in these particular categories," she added. Despite being the largest hotel operator in the country, many of Jin Jiang Hotels' properties are often under the radar when it comes to brand recognition. According to the most recently published The Chinese Luxury Traveler white paper by Hurun Report, publisher of the annual China Rich List, Jin Jiang as a brand does not feature in the top ten on the list of most recognised hotel brands by China's high-networth individuals (HNWI). Rupert Hoogewerf, publisher of Hurun, points to inconsistent branding as one of the reasons. Currently, quite a number of properties under Jin Jiang are individually named, such as four-star the Rainbow Hotel, Galaxy Hotel and Oriental Garden Hotel, and five-star Chang An Grand Hotel and Huating Hotel & Towers. There is no clear branding for them, which does not help raise their profile. Back in 2011, Jin Jiang Hotels' chief executive Bernold Schroeder shared with Business Traveller his vision of making Jin Jiang as China's national brand as well as a major international player (see story). Tan stated: ‘We aim to continue our efforts on maintaining and further strengthening our position as a leading national hotel brand in China whilst further internationalising the brand to increase our international profile." Jin Jiang Hotels has 35 projects currently under development and construction around China, and in overseas, Tan revealed that the group "...are considering various options including good opportunities to acquire international hotels. However, before acquiring internationally our strategy is to continue working on building a strong brand and foundation in China, through the strengthening of our operations, and creating an excellent sales and marketing platform and implementing new systems." On internationalising the company and brand, she continued, the strategy also consists of efforts to "restructure certain aspects of the company internally by implementing international standards, for instance, bringing in an international team and building a mixed team of international and Chinese associates, setting up sales offices in Singapore and Hong Kong and appointing a general sales agent in Japan." Jin Jiang Hotels has also established international partnerships and marketing alliances, and actively participated in trade shows to increase brand awareness. Jin Jiang Hotels is owned by Jin Jiang International Holdings Company (Jin Jiang), which also owns Jin Jiang Inn and a 50/50 joint venture with Thayer Group in Interstate Hotels and Resorts Group. Jin Jiang owns a number of well-known properties such as Fairmont Peace Hotel Shanghai, Waldorf Astoria Shanghai and JC Mandarin Hotel Shanghai, and overall owns and operates a collection of over 900 properties. It has also achieved success in building up a fan-base through its frequent traveller membership loyalty programme, J-Club. Launched in April last year, it has already accumulated over nine million members, with 98 per cent of them based in China. Other than benefits from Jin Jiang properties, J-Club members also enjoy privileges with the group's other businesses such as travel agents and car rental services. Visit Reggie Ho
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