Boutique Design - June 2017 - 26
The sTarT-up: "I've always squirmed at phrases like, 'We've always done it
this way' or 'That's how things are done here,'" says this DePaul University alum.
She turned that into a major career advantage at MTV/Viacom, The Drake
Hotel, Chicago, and in leadership roles with Marriott Intl.'s global brand
management team. Her innovative thinking on initiatives to build out market
reach and visibility for the giant's lifestyle brands earned her the company's
Brand Marketing E-Commerce "Creativity & Innovation" award for the groundbreaking Lifestyle University program, created to identify and develop lifestyle
leaders around the world, recognition as a top professional under 35 by
LinkedIn Next Wave and a dream job: Creating a brand from scratch. "When
we started work on what would become MOXY, we threw out everything we
thought we knew about what today's fun-hunting traveler expects from a lifestyle hotel," she says. "We had the chance to research and craft every aspect of
what was needed to create a spirited brand that would excite next-generation
guests through style, attitude and price. And, yes, we really did get a blank slate
from the beginning-and the freedom to continually revisit what we're doing. I
feel like non-conformity, open-mindedness and originality are core values that
get rewarded with MOXY's evolution. What could be more exciting than that?"
Why the world (and Marriott Intl. (MI)) needed another hotel brand:
"Today's consumers want to discover a killer experience at the right price, and
on top of that, they want to validate that choice and share their experiences
with others. We set out to create a fresh, audacious brand that answers that
need by flipping the conventional hotel service model on its head to pleasantly
surprise travelers at how much they can get away with in tailoring their experience without the exorbitant price tags. From our selfie elevators to our checkin at the bar and communal spaces, MOXY encourages play and shareable
social moments for guests."
Why the pundits who say big brands can't do lifestyle right are wrong:
"With different collaborations, the company has launched EDITION, MOXY
boutiquedesign.com june 2017
Hotels, Autograph Collection and AC Hotels as part of Marriott's suite of lifestyle brands. And of course, with the largest acquisition, Starwood brings innovative brands like Aloft, Element and Westin into the portfolio. There are many
advantages to scale that allows MI to do things that no independent company
can do. Our scope offers many opportunities to innovate. At the end of the day,
the focus is to keep all 30 brands distinct, and we will use the strength of our
scale to do so.
"For example, we rely heavily on digital, social, and partnerships. MOXY has
partnered with international artistic platform Talenthouse to create a program
called BlankCanvas, which calls on multi-media artists from around the world
to submit contemporary works that encapsulate the unexpected, fun, spirited
attitude that our brand embodies and celebrates. We have seen great success
with the program including over 2,600 art submissions from 46 countries globally and ten million social impressions.
"We launched our original YouTube series "DO NOT DISTURB" hosted by
comedian Taryn Southern. The 12-episode series is produced in collaboration
with Marriott's Content Studio and is intended to drive consistent engagement
by giving guests more shareable moments to get them talking. Set-up as a
slumber party, the second season of "DO NOT DISTURB" was taped at the
recently opened MOXY New Orleans and MOXY Berlin Ostbahnhof, during the
hotels' epic grand opening parties. This also brings home the idea that, not only
are no two MOXY hotels the same because they reflect their locals-no two
events will be the same from hotel to hotel. The setting defines all that."
How far, how fast, how much: MOXY currently operates eight hotels in
the United States and Europe. More than 70 approved deals are in the worldwide pipeline. Additional target markets include San Francisco, LA, Miami
What gets her jazzed: "Starting something I have no idea how to finish.
Anything with the potential for failure, but not total disaster, gets my heart racing."
COUR TE S Y OF MARRIOT T INTL . (MOX Y RENDERING, POULOS)
Vicki Poulos | global senior brand director | MoXY Hotels | betHesda, MarYland