Today, Hilton announced the launch of its newest brand, Tempo by Hilton. Touted as an “approachable lifestyle brand,” Tempo by Hilton was designed to fill a missing niche in the industry—accommodating travelers looking for a high-end product at an attainable price point. Hilton calls these guests “modern achievers,” and according to Jonathan Witter, chief customer officer for Hilton, it’s a segment of travelers whose needs have not yet been met by other brands.
Profiling Modern Achievers
“There’s no value in creating brands that don’t have authentic meaning or resonate with customers,” Witter says, explaining that Hilton uses a comprehensive approach to brand segmentation to ensure there isn’t overlap. “We do our research. We know the different customers, we know what their functional and emotional needs are, and we know what they’re looking for in different brands.”
To build a guest profile for Tempo by Hilton, the company surveyed more than 10,000 consumers to find the “modern achievers” that the brand aims to serve. These are guests looking for ways to maintain their healthy lifestyles and have a high-end experience, but who can’t spend with reckless abandon. According to Hilton’s extensive research, this segment wasn’t being served by any brands on the market. “These are ambitious people willing to pay a bit more for something that provides a unique experience and reflects their lifestyle, but they still have a price point to be aware of,” Phil Cordell, SVP and global head of brand development for Hilton, explains.
Witter adds, “[Modern achievers] are a young population. From a lifetime value perspective, that’s great. They’re not exclusively young, but they absolutely tend to skew younger. They’re also a segment that, in addition to traveling more and spending more, is underwhelmed by current brand offerings.”
Global design firm NELSON Worldwide spearheaded the design development of Tempo by Hilton. The brand’s guestrooms will provide accommodations that prepare travelers for the day ahead. This will include “Power Up” and “Power Down” content, developed in partnership with Thrive Global—an organization founded by Arianna Huffington to combat stress and burnout and help people improve their overall wellbeing—that guests can use to either for the day or to power down from the day.
Guestrooms will also have Get Ready Zones, where guests can prepare for their day, focus on work, or play with their children.
The Tempo by Hilton public spaces will include fitness offerings, flexible meeting spaces, and informal relaxation areas. Food and beverage outlets will be available, including an in-lobby Fuel Bar, an alcoholic and non-alcoholic bar, and a collaborative partnership with Blau + Associates for rising chefs to create seasonal menus.
Sustainability is also important to Tempo by Hilton and the brand aligns with Hilton’s Travel with Purpose 2030 Goals, which have the company doubling its investment in social impact and cut its environmental footprint in half. Tempo by Hilton is—like Hilton’s other brands—committed to implementing sustainable practices and responsible sourcing.
Tempo by Hilton was conceived as an economically sustainable and broadly scalable product, one that presents a major opportunity for investors who want to diversify their hotel portfolios. “There are a lot more people traveling today than there used to be,” Witter says. “The best way that we protect owner profitability and help them be successful is to be diligent about ensuring that each of our brands is unique and attracts a different segment of customers. We’ve done a great job with that so far.”
As of publication, Tempo by Hilton has 30 committed and more than 30 working projects in its U.S. pipeline. These hotels will be in major gateway cities including Manhattan, Maui, and Los Angeles, among others. Cordell says that the brand is focusing on establishing itself in the United States before growing internationally. He also says that most Tempo by Hilton properties will be new build, at least initially. “Because of some unique nuances of the product, it will be mostly new build. The first hotels are probably going to open in about 18 to 24 months.” Cordell doesn’t completely discount future conversion opportunities, though, if opportunity is right.
Cordell expects that Tempo by Hilton will continue to gain momentum throughout the year. He says, “For these next 12-plus months, we’re going to focus our messaging on reach potential franchisees. We might tease the brand a bit with consumers, but that will come much closer to the opening of the first hotel. Until then, it’s about the industry, owners, and franchisees.”
Tempo by Hilton is the third brand launched by the global hospitality company in the last 18 months. Motto by Hilton, an affordable lifestyle micro-hotel, launched October 2018. Signia Hilton, a brand targeted at the meetings and events segment, launched in February 2019. Hilton also celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2019.