Historic Hotels of America and Brand Heritage Institute share a deep interest in the theory and practice of heritage marketing, and the leaders of these organizations envision working together on other education programs for hotel historians and historic hotels marketing leaders. The first of these activities will be a seminar leading to an executive education Certificate in Heritage Marketing for Historic Hotels, which will be offered to owners, general managers, and other senior leaders of historic hotels during the Historic Hotels of America and Historic Hotels Worldwide 2018 Annual Conference. The first annual seminar will be held on October 30, 2018 at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, which is celebrating the centennial of its opening in 1918.
The program director will be Bradford Hudson, who is a marketing professor at Boston College. He is also President of the Brand Heritage Institute, which is an independent non-profit corporation devoted to research, education, and publishing about topics at the intersection of marketing and history. Professor Hudson holds a Ph.D. in business history from Boston University, a master’s degree in services marketing from the Cornell Hotel School, and a certificate in strategy from Harvard Business School. He has been published in peer-reviewed academic journals such as European Journal of Marketing, Corporate Communications, and Cornell Hospitality Quarterly. He has also been quoted by numerous media sources including CNBC, Financial Times, Fox News, and USA Today. Professor Hudson has been awarded a prestigious Fulbright Research Fellowship and has received a Certificate of Excellence from Emerald Management Reviews for the practical implications of his academic publications.
Professor Hudson is a former corporate executive and strategy consultant, who worked with historic companies in a variety of industries. His consulting clients included historic companies such as ATT, Cadbury Schweppes, Cunard, Harley-Davidson, and Nestlé. As an academic researcher, Professor Hudson has been conducting research about brand heritage for over a decade. He has studied corporate history and heritage marketing at American Airlines, Disney, Fairmont, Lionel, Mercedes-Benz, Moët et Chandon, Ritz-Carlton, and Sheraton. He has also managed projects to examine the attitudes and preferences of younger consumers toward historic brands including Campbell Soup, Coca-Cola, Hershey, and Macy’s.
In his published work, Professor Hudson has explained important theoretical issues in consumer behavior for historic brands and explored connections to related concepts such as nostalgia, authenticity and luxury. Using field research and data from the tourism industry, he has demonstrated that older hotels can use their history and architectural character to differentiate themselves and attain a significant price premium over direct competitors with newer buildings. He has also demonstrated that a historic brand can be used as a focal point for turnaround and re-positioning efforts, even when adopting a new product development strategy. Professor Hudson is currently exploring generational dynamics and cultural relevance when younger consumers interact with historic brands.
According to Hudson, “Brand heritage is an emerging concept within the marketing discipline, which suggests that the historical status of older companies is often explicitly linked to their brand identity and consumer appeal. A historic hotel represents a special variant, because its brand identity is inseparably linked to its architectural history and to the cultural dimensions of its environment. If a hotel was not built recently, then consumers will categorize the hotel as either historic or old. Obviously, it is better to be historic. Each historic hotel offers a unique experience that cannot be duplicated by competitors, and its history represents an important element of differentiation. Historic hotels can achieve a significant advantage in ADR and REVPAR versus newer competitors in the same segment. The key variable seems to be the degree to which the older hotel emphasizes and celebrates its history.”
Hudson continued, “From one viewpoint, historic hotels are pioneers in brand heritage and have been at the forefront of heritage marketing since the founding of Historic Hotels of America almost three decades ago. It could be argued that companies in other industries should be learning from hotels, not vice versa. However, based on my experience as an industry executive and academic researcher, it seems clear that practical efforts must be aligned with theoretical principles in order to make marketing programs more effective and expenditures more efficient. Executives responsible for marketing historic companies need to know how brand heritage works at a fundamental level and be able to explain why people buy historic products of any type. Understanding the nature of heritage in competitive strategy and consumer behavior will help hoteliers position and leverage their historic hotels to maximum advantage, and thereby attain practical benefits in demand and pricing, which is the ultimate purpose of our new executive education program.”
“Brand Heritage Institute is devoted to heritage marketing, and Professor Hudson is recognized globally for his thought leadership in brand heritage,” said Lawrence Horwitz, Executive Director of Historic Hotels of America and Historic Hotels Worldwide. “He has given speeches to our annual conferences three times during the past decade, which were very well received by our members. Two years ago, he conducted an exclusive research study for Historic Hotels of America, which explored the consumer behavior and positive attitudes of the millennial generation toward historic hotels and related travel preferences. This new executive education program provides tools for our members to engage more deeply with the growing public fascination with history and historic hotels. Most important, participants will gain new insights into ways they can leverage the history and stories of their historic hotels into sustained competitive advantages and higher revenue. We are delighted to collaborate with Professor Hudson and Brand Heritage Institute.”
Admission to this new executive program is restricted to owners, general managers, and senior leaders of hotels that are members of Historic Hotels of America. The certificate program is a non-credit course that is considered a professional development or corporate training program. Participation will not earn credits transferable to any internal or external degree programs. Interested individuals can find more information about the heritage marketing seminar online here.
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About Historic Hotels Worldwide®
Historic Hotels Worldwide® is a prestigious collection of historic treasures, including historic hotels, castles, chateaus, palaces, academies, haciendas, villas, monasteries, and other historic lodging spanning ten centuries. Historic Hotels Worldwide represents the finest global collection of more than 260 historic hotels in more than 36 countries. Historic Hotels Worldwide is dedicated to promoting heritage and cultural travel to prestigious historic treasures. Hotels inducted into Historic Hotels Worldwide are authentic historic treasures, demonstrate historic preservation, and celebrate historic significance. Embracing luxury hotel brands, chains, collections, and the finest independent historic hotels, participation is limited to those distinctive historic hotels that adhere to the following criteria: minimum age for the building is 75 years or older; historically relevant as a significant location with a historic district, historically significant landmark, place of a historic event, former home of a famous person, or historic city center; hotel celebrates its history by showcasing memorabilia, artwork, photography, and other examples of its historic significance; recognized by national preservation or heritage buildings organization or located within UNESCO World Heritage Site; presently used as historic hotel. To learn more visit www.HistoricHotelsWorldwide.com
About Historic Hotels of America
Historic Hotels of America is the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation for recognizing and celebrating the finest Historic Hotels. Historic Hotels of America was founded in 1989 by the National Trust for Historic Preservationwith 32 charter members. Today, Historic Hotels of America has more than 298 historic hotels. These historic hotels have all faithfully maintained their authenticity, sense of place, and architectural integrity in the United States of America, including 46 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. Historic Hotels of America is comprised of mostly independently owned and operated historic hotels. More than 30 of the world”s finest hospitality brands, chains, and collections are represented in Historic Hotels of America. To be nominated and selected for membership into this prestigious program, a hotel must be at least 50 years old; has been designated by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior as a National Historic Landmark or listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places; and recognized as having historic significance. For more information, please visit HistoricHotels.org.
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