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The Moxy Hotels: Creating Experiences as the New Marketing Approach (by Lea Scholz)

The young, fun-loving traveler who is looking for an affordable yet stylish place to stay is the target market for Marriott’s new lifestyle/boutique hotel Moxy. The new hotel brand was designed to attract people who want more than a room to sleep in. This group of travelers tends to be cost-conscious and demanding at the same time while trying to stay socially connected. Moxy is the place to be.

The brand’s affordable prices, stylish amenities, and technical accommodations attract the “fun hunters,” as Marriott calls its new target market. The rooms are small yet comfortable and stylish featuring large flat screen TVs, USB outlets, and high-speed wifi. Staying true to their motto: Less is more - they accentuate more not less. The lobby or living room is the center and heart of the hotel. The public space is a place to relax, play, hang out, and meet people. Guests check in at the bar while enjoying a complimentary cocktail or having a snack at the 24/7 self-service beverage and food. At the Moxy, the fun hunters have everything they need, and nothing they don’t need.

Traditionally opened and designed for the European market, Marriott’s new lifestyle hotel Moxy is experiencing rapid growth and beginning to open new properties all over the world. Launched in 2014 in Milan, Italy, the hotel chain currently has 28 properties in America and Europe with more to come. Arne Sorenson, CEO of Marriott International, reveals, “We expect to open up to 150 new hotels of the Moxy brand in Europe within the next 10 years.” The company also announced further plans to expand the Moxy brand into Japan.

So what makes this new lifestyle brand so successful? Is it the combination of stylish designs, adventure, and affordability? Is it its convenience, metropolitan location? In fact, Moxy is an experience! The fun designs, pictures, and accessories create an atmosphere that people want to retain and remember. They want to capture their memories in a photo to share with the world. This one picture is their way to hold on to their experience. While most travelers take pictures of
their food, Moxy makes them want to take a picture of the hotel. And what better way of marketing than having your guests share their memories on social media

Moxy’s digital guestbook is the source for everybody to post their stories on Instagram and let others know what’s going on. The flat screen TVs in the living room show a collection of recently uploaded Instagram images taken by guests all around the world. So not only the selfie-friendly designs and props but also the digital exposure inspires people to post their own #atthemoxy Instas and pop up on the screen at another Moxy all over the world.

“You had fun. We know you’ve got the photos to prove it. Show off #atthemoxy.” This is an excellent marketing strategy. Moxy using a personal approach by putting its guests on the center stage of a continuous marketing campaign and letting them be in control of the content. While traditional hotels have plain, artless lobbies and bedrooms, Moxy is all about the real, unfiltered guest experience. Everything is tailored to a target market that is obsessed with beautiful images and social media. While other hotels spend millions of dollars on marketing campaigns, Moxy is using a free marketing platform that reaches people globally. It’s brilliant.

How will Moxy’s marketing approach affect hotel brand strategies in the future? Is the hotel industry going to be all about experiences rather than lodging? And is social media going to become the major marketing tool for the hospitality industry?

About the Author:

Lea Scholz is currently a student at Cal Poly Pomona pursuing her degree in Hospitality Management. She has over eight years of experience in the hospitality industry working in hotels, restaurants, and the sports industry. She is also actively involved on campus as the Vice President for Eta Sigma Delta Honor Society and an Ambassador for The Collins College. After getting her degree, she is determined to start her professional career with Marriott International as an F&B Voyager at the Renaissance in Long Beach. Banquet and event management is her true passion. Her goal is to become the Director of Events for a luxury brand in Los Angeles.

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