The Ideas House + Marriott International

Thrive25: concepting for Marriott International’s

five-year strategy

The client

Marriott International is a global market leader in the hospitality industry, comprised of 30 brands, with around 7,000 properties across 131 countries and territories. In 2019, Catch the Sun started producing a range of editorial work for Marriott International’s Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, working directly with Brighton marketing agency, The Ideas House. Marriott takes great pride in investing in its staff, hotels and patrons and is renowned for having a robust internal communications strategy.

The problem

In 2020, Marriott International had produced the bulk of a five-year strategic plan. Having successfully merged with Starwood, the company aimed to grow profits by 25 per cent by 2025 to become EMEA’s most profitable hotel agency. But when COVID-19 hit, these plans were put on hold.

In 2021, Catch the Sun was briefed by The Ideas House to assist with concepting work for a new strategic plan, which would capitalise on the region’s recovery and now span from 2021 to 2025.

The strategy required a name and overarching creative concept to tie it together. EMEA is a large and diverse region, and some countries would be emerging from the worst of the pandemic sooner and more strongly than others, so the concept had to be widely applicable.

With no budget for items like marketing kits, this message had to be spread digitally. It had to be strong enough to generate buy-in from General Managers, who would then present it to hotel associates, motivating them to look towards a post-pandemic future.

The solution

Catch the Sun brainstormed and explored many overarching ideas, presenting a selection of the strongest. But it was clear there was one compelling frontrunner:

Thrive25

Marriott had enjoyed success with their previous quantitative ‘Mission 65: our mission is smiles’ campaign, so we knew incorporating the number ‘25’ would work well, particularly combined with a word reflecting the key company vision of prosperity.

Thrive25 built upon the original 2020 plan’s existing look and feel, pulling it together to become the company’s overarching strategy until 2025. When teamed with the tagline ‘At the heart of every journey’, Thrive25 sits at the centre of all Marriott activity in EMEA.

The results

Marriott International now regards Thrive25 as key to the recovery of the post-pandemic leisure market in the EMEA region. To watch Marriott International’s EMEA president, Satya Anand, introduce a name concept developed by Catch the Sun is a proud moment for us all.

The Thrive25 logo is now a familiar feature behind the scenes at Marriott Bonvoy hotels, and is readily identifiable by all Marriott EMEA associates.

Marriott’s positive reaction to the Thrive25 project has given us the opportunity to continue our work with The Ideas House, concepting leisure market sub-brands, undertaking speechwriting for members of the Marriott International Executive team, copywriting and proofreading the brand’s weekly internal e-newsletter, and developing assets for their 2022 Consumer Operations strategy project.

In completing this project – and all work we do for Marriott International – we were able to offer a southern hemisphere response to a northern hemisphere brief. We worked with The Ideas House’s fast-moving production schedules to turn the concepting and supporting copy around quickly, hitting the brief first time in the process.

Maddie is an exceptional and versatile copywriter. She quickly gets to grips with our client’s requirements, producing superior writing that meets their brief and budgets. Her attention-to-detail means mistakes, typos and dreadful punctuation never make it past her final edit.”

Cathryn Kronhamn, Founder and Director, The Ideas House

Our work

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