With its third Top 10 performance in as many years, W Hotels finally bested the competition with a No. 1 ranking in our 2013 Digital IQ Index: Hotels report, released yesterday. Dethroning digital darling Four Seasons, W Hotels earned this year’s only ‘Genius’ title by excelling in all four major categories measured by our methodology: Site, Social Media, Mobile, and Digital Marketing. Demonstrating an understanding of the coveted Millennial consumer group, W Hotels, which now boasts 66 domestic and international properties, upped its engagement on popular social networks like Instagram (10K+ followers), Twitter (more than 30K+ uses of the #whotel hashtag) and Pinterest. The Starwood property also scored well for regularly updated site content that tied the brand to buzzworthy fashion, music and design news and events.
W Hotels’ Site succeeds by prioritizing both best-in-class functionality and original, guest-experience content. One example of the latter is the brand’s “Four Stories” film contest collaboration with Intel, a partnership that not only signals innovation but also reinforces the brand’s understated ‘cool’ image. Other W Hotels highlights include its Starwood Preferred Guest® loyalty program, which is well-integrated across email marketing, and a very active Director of Guest Experience, who is consistently responding to reviews on the all important TripAdvisor.
On the all important mobile front, W Hotels’ site was one of the best, optimized for all Android, BlackBerry, and Apple devices. Guests don’t even need an in-room phone anymore, as they can order room service, request towels and other room amenities all through the W’s iPhone app.
Collectively, the six Starwood properties included in the study — W, Westin, The Luxury Collection, Sheraton, St. Regis, and Le Meridien — earned an average Digital IQ of 131, the highest of all eight multi-brand groups. So, even though we focus on W Hotels here, it is also the Starwood enterprise that deserves much credit.
For more on our 2013 Hotels study, click here to download an excerpt and watch our animated film.