InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) is one of the world’s leading hotel companies, and its diverse portfolio of differentiated brands is known and loved by millions of consumers around the world. To position itself as an innovative player in the hotel category, the brand developed one of the first iMessage hotel-related apps. This app, which lives in Apple’s Message app, allows people to share hotel options in their private messages, creating a frictionless planning process.
Objective and Context:
The strategic objective of the initiative was to showcase IHG as an innovative hotel brand. The brand also sought to gain practical experience with the iMessage platform and the iMessage App Store. The main challenge was the immaturity of the new technology and iMessage App Store’s distribution platform.
The target audience was IHG guests in North America who were planning group vacations with their friends or family.
The branding and tone of the company’s iMessage App matched that of the main IHG app. The driving force behind its design was to create an experience for users to share, discuss, and vote on hotel options within private chats. Once the group was ready to book, they could easily transition to the main IHG app to complete the transaction.
The product was launched and executed on mobile. The iMessage App platform on iOS 11 and the Apple iMessage App store are what made the distribution of this app possible, as previous operating systems didn’t have this capability.
The campaign achieved the goal of establishing IHG as a first adopter and an innovative brand. There were only a couple of travel brands with iMessage apps and none were anywhere near as sophisticated as the IHG iMessage app.