An Additive Story for Hilton Worldwide
Conrad Hilton’s mission, to fill the Earth with the Light and Warmth of Hospitality, is known throughout the world, and Hilton Worldwide enjoys the rare position as the most trusted name in hospitality. Its full portfolio of hotels, resorts, and hospitality services is not fully understood or valued, however. While nine of the 10 brands in the Hilton portfolio are hotel companies, the 10th, Hilton Grand Vacations (HGV), is a timeshare business. Timeshare had been associated with negative business practices, and HGV was misunderstood by internal and external audiences. Vacation ownership, with the added complexities of real-estate, direct marketing and finance, is a different business from hospitality, but HGV had consistently out-performed the industry in both up and down economies, contributing significantly to Hilton Worldwide’s profits and market share. The CEO of HGV sought Marshall’s help to clearly tell his story to peers, investors, partners and customers to help them appreciate the excellence and appeal of HGV’s business.
Through a rigorous process, we identified the key drivers for Hilton Grand Vacations’ success, and a way to tell its story in more unique and friendly terms. Stronger than a loyalty program, we identified HGV as Hilton’s commitment engine, turning Hilton loyalists into committed lifetime customers. This was enabled through trust in the Hilton brand, high-quality resorts, a highly flexible points system, and the personal connections vacation ownership affords. We demonstrated how customers who make vacation a part of their lifestyle, year after year, drive business and loyalty to all of Hilton’s other brands, in up and down seasons. This simple articulation of a complex story showed how HGV is the glue that holds the Hilton divisions together for mutual benefit. It articulated for the first time how HGV creates a deep customer loyalty by essentially becoming an extended family member. Finally, we showed how HGV’s management discipline and innovation were responsible for turning a formerly frowned-upon business into a thriving, value-creating engine for the company, investors, and partners.
The CEO of Hilton Grand Vacations presented his story to Hilton Worldwide Leadership to high accolades and universal support. HGV has embarked upon a communications campaign, based on the storytelling framework we delivered. The value of Hilton Worldwide will continue to grow as Hilton and Hilton Grand Vacations further integrate their efforts.