How sub-brands are helping Marriott and Best Western target the Airbnb generation 

Over the past two years, global hotel chains such as Marriott and Best Western have aggressively pursued millennial consumers with the launch of sub-brands aimed specifically at the Airbnb generation of young urbanites.

Moxy - Marriott

Marriott introduced Moxy in 2014, which is far removed from its formal, luxury portfolio in design terms, with a focus on 24/7 communal living and ‘budget is beautiful’ mantra.

The newest and most affordable entrant to the international chain, Moxy is aimed at “lifestyle-orientated millennial travellers’, explains global brand director Vicki Poulos. Although there are only two Moxy hotels in the US and three in Europe at present, by 2018 there will be 60 hotels globally, including new sites in London, Aberdeen and Edinburgh.

“We launched Moxy because we saw a huge opportunity in the affordable lifestyle segment that was not being addressed. We found a lot of the budget segment, especially in Europe, had stripped the personality and fun back and the offer was quite bland, so when designing Moxy we wanted to make sure it was fun, energetic and vibrant,” says Poulos.

READ MORE: How to avoid fragmentation when launching a sub-brand

The intention behind the sub-brand was to attract new visitors who had not necessarily experienced Marriott hotels. From the hot pink logo to the compact 183 sq ft rooms, the Moxy aesthetic is based on ‘industrial chic’. Other features include keyless entry, mobile check-in  and the traditional reception desk replaced with a bar. Game arcades and bowling alleys also dominate communal areas.

Taking a modern approach

Refreshing and modernising the reception area has also been a focus for Vib, Best Western’s sub-brand aimed at travellers “looking for social engagement”. The reception space includes food and drink areas, a pop-up space for local retailers and murals designed by local artists, all lit by customised lights that have been programmed to suit the time of day.

Vib Best Western

“The main goal for the design of our newer brands is to ensure that the lobbies are more versatile,” explains managing director of design Amy Hulbert.

“We achieved this by creating spaces with furniture elements that can easily be moved to accommodate larger group seating. We also recognised that communal tables are terrific, as they help to break up the landscape by providing a taller element within the space.”

Suited to urban locations, the compact, modular design of the rooms means each Vib hotel can fit on less than half an acre of land. While still under construction, seven Vib hotels are on schedule to be built in North America, with other sites planned in Cape Town in South Africa, Seoul in South Korea and Vientiane in Laos. The design of each will be tailored to relate to the specific location.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here