IHG Has A New Logo & Branding, And I Like It!

Filed Under: IHG Rewards

InterContinental Hotels Groups (IHG) seems to be undergoing a rebranding, and I dig it. The company has quietly rolled out a new logo on its website, and also slightly changed the name of its loyalty program.

IHG goes from bold orange to non-bold black

Here’s IHG’s old logo:

Meanwhile here’s the new logo that I’m seeing on the IHG website:

I’ve gotta say, I really like this change. Companies spend way too much money on these kinds of changes, and put a lot of thought into colors, bold vs. non-bold text, etc.

The marketing world would have you believe:

  • The use of orange is generally intended to portray excitement, enthusiasm, warmth, playfulness, and being bold; add in the bold text being used for orange, and that emphasizes that even further
  • The use of black is intended to portray seriousness, professionalism, elegance, etc.; with the text being less bold than before, it emphasizes that even further

Clearly a lot of thought went into this, and perhaps it represents an overall evolution of the IHG brand. IHG has struggled with brand identity, since historically it consisted of InterContinental (a pretty “serious” brand), and then all kinds of playful and limited service brands (with Hotel Indigo falling in the former category, and Holiday Inn Express, etc., falling in the latter category).

IHG is improving in the luxury sector, though, between acquiring Regent and Six Senses. It makes sense that the brand may want to portray a less playful and more serious image.

IHG Rewards Club becomes IHG Rewards

While subtle, it would also appear that IHG Rewards Club has been rebranded simply as IHG Rewards. All mentions on IHG’s website now refer only to IHG Rewards, without the “Club” at the end.

I guess this is the next step in the subtle transition of IHG’s loyalty program. Back in the day it was known as Priority Club, then it became IHG Rewards Club, and now it’s just IHG Rewards.

In an ideal world IHG would actually improve the (uncompetitive) loyalty program rather than just change the name, but that might be too much to ask. šŸ˜‰

Bottom line

IHG has undergone a pretty significant rebranding, as the company has transitioned from bold orange to non-bold black text. In the marketing world that reflects the company trying to portray itself as being more serious rather than playful.

Personally I really like the new logo. Sure, it might be simple and even a bit boring, but I always thought the bold orange branding was a bit strange for a company that has an ever-increasing number of premium properties.

What do you make of IHG’s new logo and branding?

  1. Guess they’ll be sending me another credit card. How much do you think this will cost them? Everything from stationary to signage….great expenditure for a hospitality right now.

  2. IHG needs to update its loyalty program instead of its logo.
    I couldn’t care less if they didn’t have any logo at all…they should stop wasting money on rebranding, and focus on improving elite benefits.
    Why would anyone stay at IHG properties when even the top-tier spire elite level doesn’t provide free breakfast?

  3. This looks very similar to the new Sheraton logo font.

    As for the name of the program: When I stay at Holiday Inn and get a printed folio, the folio says Priority Club or uses an abbreviation for Priority Club even though it’s been several years since that name was used.

  4. Echoing JL’s sentiment. As long as Hyatt Globalist offers free breakfast, there is no way I would pursue IHG’s top tier.

  5. I like the current orange logo, and the green HI/HIE logos. Yes, they are colorful and playful – just what needed for vacation. The black color is dull and while might work for business world, lacks any emotion – and it’s bad for brand marketing. IHG has one of the best loyalty programs at the moment with wide range of hotels, so representing all of them as business-seriousness oriented is big mistake. Why grey, black and beige are made business colors anyway? Most people spend their lives inside business offices, and more bright colors are needed for productivity and employees health – that’s a medical fact.
    Lets keep the color in our lives!
    To IHG managers^ stop wasting money on unnecessary brand changes. Instead concentrate on customers loyalty and happiness.

  6. Perhaps they can focus on fixing the rewards program login. I haven’t been able to access my account for 6 months due to functional issues in both Chrome and IE.

  7. @Aleks

    “IHG has one of the best loyalty programs at the moment with wide range of hotels, so representing all of them as business-seriousness oriented is big mistake.”

    I’d be interested to know what aspects of IHG’s loyalty program you see as helping to make it “one of the best loyalty programs”.

  8. Typical IHG. They don’t coordinate with their partners or anyone on their strategy. Chase just replaced everyone’s IHG Rewards Club card with a new card featuring tap & pay which feature the old name and old logo. Now, IHG lets the world know, hey we have changed our logo instead of coordinating with Chase on sending out the tap & pay cards with the new logo and rewards program name. It has always seemed like IHG is run by a bunch of amateur’s.

    Personally, the new logo is nice and definitely exudes sophistication and seriousness, but at the end of the day few if any of the IHG properties I have stayed at over the years exuded this sophistication or seriousness. Without a refresh of the IHG rewards club to make it competitive with Hilton, Hyatt, and Marriott I have little interest in staying at their properties outside of the free night certificates from the credit cards and will continue to give most of my business to Hilton, Hyatt, and Marriott.

  9. I value IHG for more off-the-beaten path locations where there aren’t many choices. There’s usually at least a holiday inn and it’s perfectly fine. Would never pursue status with them but with the credit card I’ve always received an upgrade.
    I did stay at a Six Senses recently and it was fantastic. That was a great our hase for them and is far and away their superior brand now, much moreso than Intercontinental. I don’t believe you can earn points for stays there yet, though. I didn’t…

  10. Regent hotels are phenomenal, as are many IC, and Mr & Mrs Smiths. The issue with IHG, as others mention, is their loyalty program. Even being a Spire Elite that requires 75 nights does not get you breakfast, and does not get you good customer service when you have issues (as I recently experienced).

  11. Did they also make the orange brighter?

    And at the bottom of their website, theyā€™re grouping their hotel brands by segment (luxury and lifestyle, premium, essentials, and suites), like what Marriott has been doing. I think itā€™s a welcome change for brand identity, but the layout… that block of brands takes a quarter of the webpage area.

  12. @JC

    I agree with everything you said. The timing couldnā€™t be worse as Chase just replaced all the credit cards. But hey, after two (?) years, the new Regent logo still hasnā€™t been fully rolled out, and almost all Indigo properties are still using the old logo. So maybe chase will just change the design in five years, when current credit cards expire.

  13. I so like the old logo. It was warm and inviting. The new logo looks too elegant and distant for a midscale/upper midscale heavy hotel group. And if you put the new IHG logo with the current regent and indigo logos, they all look the same, even though they stand for three very distinct things. (BTW I think the old hotel indigo logo with the nautilus is much better for a playful, local inspired, lifestyle brand)

    The color scheme is also dull. With Hilton, Accor, and Marriottā€™s (almost) black and white logos, itā€™s just boring.

  14. I applaud dropping the word ā€œClub.ā€ I think it confused some people (who ask me about IHG) who get it confused with the IHG Club level rooms. For instance, you canā€™t book an IHG Club room using IHG Reward Club points. They had two different things each labeled IHG Club.

  15. Second thought: I wish IHG would upgrade something more than its marketing department. For instance, I have two IHG credit cards plus Ambassador status plus Spire Elite status. All four together still donā€™t amount to a free muffin.

  16. I feel like corporate branding goes through a back and forth cycle of playful/energetic/colourful to serious/professional and back again. The trend seems to be moving back toward serious/professional and away from playful/energetic. Eventually it will flip back again.

  17. @iflyfar Re: not being able to log in to your account.

    Are you using a VPN? About 1/2 the time I have to turn mine off in order to log in. That and their 4 digit password shows what they think about web security.

  18. If Kimpton wasnt in IHG i would never stay with them. I have been Spire for 5 years and never found value in it other than they THROW points at you and they have hotels everywhere (whether or not you want to stay in the old Holiday Inn off the freeway junction is another story…).

    My biggest issue was I that IHG properties consistently deliver an experience below my expectations … across their entire portfolio – including Intercontinental and Kimpton (resort fees being the big issue here). The Holiday Inn Expresses were actually the most consistent and enjoyable stays with them.

    Hyatt is my go to in all cases where costs and distances are comparable. The biggest difference: Hyatt is consistently under promise and over deliver, and I leave happy whether its a points purchase for vacation or a work stay, and whether its at either end of their product spectrum.

  19. Did anyone think … that just having a Black Logo may actually save IHG Printing cost šŸ™‚ as now their stationery can be printed using single color
    Moreover they should definitely focus on spending money on their properties and the benefits provided to their Priority Club and Ambassador Members, instead of wasting time and money on image re branding when most hotel chains are not doing well and will be in red for a couple of months atleast, if not more.

  20. The haters have arrived. Wonder when a good time the haters think WOULD be to do a brand improvement. So much hate out there! The refresh looks great.

  21. @Raj

    Iā€™ll take this one.

    A better time to spend a lot of money on a rebrand would be at at a time when hoteliers (including IHG) arenā€™t telling anyone whoā€™ll listen that times have never been worse.

    Does that answer your question?

  22. @Ziggy I suppose. Another way to look at it is to take the market chaos that a rebrand creates during the downtime when essentially no one is looking, and come out of the downtime with the updated, modern branding that you’ve wanted to implement for years (but avoided for not wanting to upend the cart during the “good times”).

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