SiteMinder rebrand tells the hotel industry it is now an open commerce platform

The platform for accommodation providers has evolved to offer much more than bookings engine and channel manager

SiteMinder CMO, Mark Renshaw
SiteMinder CMO, Mark Renshaw

Known internally as ‘the doors’, SiteMinder’s swinging new logo is all about opening up opportunities and efficiencies for accommodation providers who want to open doors to more guests and deliver more personalised customer journeys. 

The 15-year-old hotel SaaS platform has moved away from its house-and-clouds logo in a full rebrand that follows a raft of new products released off the back of challenges experienced by the travel industry during the past two years. 

SiteMinder has not changed its purpose from 'Opening up every hotel to the world of ecommerce' but CMO, Mark Renshaw, told CMO the far broader product range has turned SiteMinder into an open hotel commerce platform. This needed to be communicated by a rebrand. 

SiteMinder has always had core products to help accommodation providers market rooms using its channel management and website services. It also provides a direct booking engine that can be added to any website or social platform that enables bookings. New product releases include a real-time, secure payments function and the addition of Trivago to Demand Plus, which opens more ways to drive bookings to the booking engine. Hotels have been using Demand Plus to manage their metasearch setup, billing and marketing campaigns and payment for stays booked directly through their own website via Google. This is also now possible via Trivago.  

“We’ve added transactional products to help hotels create more bookings directly or process bookings from any channel," said Renshaw. 

An expansion of consultancy services by partners also underlined the need for the rebrand. SiteMinder has recruited 1350 partners including travel agencies and channels, as well as tech vendors its platform integrates with, as part of a new partner program. The focus is on helping hotels with particular services or technologies to boost specific competencies or access specialists across SiteMinder’s app store.

“It’s not just software, and services and new transactional functions. We are an open platform because we integrate with so many partners," Renshaw said. "There’s no compromise needed to be made regarding what technology you have. It's this broader open kind of ecosystem that actually creates so many opportunities for our customers. So the rebrand tells about the evolution we've made in the last 18 months to two years."

Read more: Bringing purpose to the brand

For Renshaw, timing was a key consideration in when to take the rebrand to market. "Timing is always a question of whether you first go out and say what you’re going to do and what you’re going to be. Or do you start creating it and learn with your customers and industry and partners, then talk about it," he said.

"We wanted to get some traction with our customers with new products and then go out and tell the story, now that we have some proof points to give it dimensions.” 

In 2020, SiteMinder also launched Insights, a monitoring and reporting function to give hoteliers a single place to get “actionable data” on their guests, business performance and local market. To help with countrywide and global trends, SiteMinder launched a World Hotel Index based on its data from its connections with 30,000-plus hotels and several hundred booking channels to create real-time reports. 

For both the hotelier and the paying traveller, the benefit of most of these services is user-friendliness, speed and security direct plus personalisation. 

“The global move to online in Covid has developed much higher expectations on hotels and accommodation providers to provide a better, stronger experience for their potential guests – when browsing, when booking, when they’re at the hotel and then when they check out and leave and afterwards,” said Renshaw. “People are happy to exchange their information with hotels so long as they’re going to get a more personalised service.” 

According to SiteMinder's Dynamic Traveller report, published last month, today’s traveller seeks a greater sense of control over their experience. As a result, 54 per cent of travellers are supportive (39 per cent) or ‘very’ supportive (15 per cent) of hoteliers using their personal data to improve their stay.

“People’s expectations are higher than ever before,” Renshaw said. “A potential guest now expects all accommodation providers to offer more, and better experiences, from boutique B&Bs or an exclusive lodge in a remote area to big city hotels. It’s universal: People expect to be able to find out more information about a destination, get information on the property, book in real time and to process payments simply and securely.” 

For larger organisations, a new ‘Multi-property’ product enables accommodation groups to centralise management and distribution of information, marketing campaigns and onboarding functions.   

The rebrand was designed by SiteMinder’s in-house creative team. It was rolled out internally initially across systems and touchpoints then previewed by customers and partners backed up with reasons for the change. From there, Renshaw's team took the rebrand to the broader industry, where it continues to be rolled out across 150 countries.  

News of the broader hotel commerce platform is being broadcast offline and online through Facebook, Instagram, Google, third-party display ads and loads of content. 

“We do a tonne of content marketing, it’s a huge brand-builder for us and brings hotels into our network,” Renshaw said. “We’re heavily digital but we’re also starting to get back to some physical events, as well as virtual.” 

Success is being measured by the rate of uptake of all products and particularly the new releases, which have shown a lift in many parts of the world. 

“We've seen a large uptake of the new Demand Plus and SiteMinder Payment services around the world, which are helping hotels promote themselves and take direct bookings and payments over different channels,” Renshaw said.

A successful rebrand and its market acceptance also potentially support the company’s plans for a strong initial public offering: In recent weeks, SiteMinder formally lodged its prospectus with the Australian Security and Investments Commission for a public listing. 

Don’t miss out on the wealth of insight and content provided by CMO A/NZ and sign up to our weekly CMO Digest newsletters and information services here.  

You can also follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, follow our regular updates via CMO Australia's Linkedin company page.

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