Last updated: 01:12 PM ET, Fri April 22 2016

Hilton Earns Multiple Brand of the Year Honors

Hotel & Resort | Patrick Clarke | April 22, 2016

Hilton Earns Multiple Brand of the Year Honors

Hilton Worldwide appears well-positioned for the future.

The Harris Poll released its 28th annual EquiTrend Study this week, highlighting the top brands across dozens of categories in a handful of industries, including travel. Based on customer response (more than 97,000 Americans), the study analyzes a brands' familiarity, quality and purchase consideration to determine its overall equity.

Those top rated brands earned the Harris Poll's Brand of the Year title.

In 2016, Hilton brands took home Brand of the Year honors in three of the five hotel categories.

Homewood Suites by Hilton received the title of Brand of the Year among extended stay hotels, Hilton's flagship brand Hilton Hotels & Resorts was recognized as Brand of the Year in the full service hotel category and Hampton Inn & Suites boasted the top equity rating among mid-market hotels.

READ MORE: Hilton Targets Youthful Travelers with Launch of 'Tru by Hilton' Brand

"We are thrilled that Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Homewood Suites by Hilton and Hampton by Hilton were awarded Brand of the Year in their respective hotel categories by Harris Poll's EquiTrend Study," Hilton's executive vice president of global brands Jim Holthouser said in an emailed statement. 

"This recognition underscores Hilton's commitment to develop meaningful connections with our guests at each of our 4,600 properties worldwide by providing exceptional customer service and quality guest experiences every day."

Why It Matters

While it may sound meaningless, performing well on the Harris Poll EquiTrend Brand Equity Index is important for a brand. After all, on multiple occasions, academics have found that possessing a strong brand equity is associated with sound financial performance.

That means brands excelling on the EquiTrend Index are likely better off than others in times of economic uncertainty or downturn.

READ MORE: Hilton, IBM Pilot First Watson-Enabled Robot Concierge

"Consumers form impressions of brands long before they ever use them, based on their perceptions and what they may know from trusted sources," said Nielsen's (the Harris Poll's parent company) vice president of brand solutions Joan Sinopoli in a statement. 

"This high level equity is the gateway to eventual purchase; it also helps to protect brands from the consequences of an occasional misstep," added Sinopoli. "The strength of a company’s brand equity can have direct business and financial outcomes."

Other Travel 'Brands of the Year'

Wyndham Worldwide's Microtel Inn & Suites won Brand of the Year honors for the economy hotel segment, while Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide's W Hotels & Resorts finished atop the competition in the luxury hotel category.

W Hotels will soon join Marriott International's umbrella of brands when the Bethesda, Maryland-based company acquires Starwood later this year.

Delta Air Lines and Southwest Airlines were recognized as Brands of the Year in full service airline and value airline, respectively. 

The family-friendly Disney Cruise Line secured the top spot in the cruise line category, while prevailed as the top brand among online travel services. 

It's worth noting that 2015 was a huge year for Expedia, which acquired Travelocity, Orbitz Worldwide and HomeAway in separate deals valued at roughly $6 billion.


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