Westin Hotels & Resorts has rolled out an online wellness hub on Amazon.com that features its signature retail products as well as some selected products from partners.
The hub, at Amazon.com/wellness, launched March 1. Westin hopes it will help differentiate it from other hotels by furthering its wellness branding and allowing consumers to connect with the brand even if they’re not staying at one of its 169 properties.
Westin is no stranger to the retail arena. Its Heavenly Bed launched in 1999 and, according to the company, over 30,000 beds have sold to date. In all, Westin sells $20 million in retail products each year, according to Brian Povinelli, VP of brand management for Westin.
The Amazon.com hub features Westin’s Bed as well as other signature products like bath and shower items. Additional wellness products are also available from partners like Gaiam, a lifestyle company that focuses on fitness, yoga and organic products; Tea Forte, which makes gourmet whole leaf teas; and wine glass company Riedel.
Amazon did not respond to a request for comment.
Povinelli says Westin has always focused on renewal, relaxation and comfort, but in the past year or so has put more emphasis on wellness in order to further differentiate itself from competitors.
“Wellness is a macro trend,” Povinelli says. “No one in the hospitality industry is meeting the needs of today’s busy traveler from a sleep or nutrition perspective.”
Westin’s emphasis on wellness is also featured in its WestinWorkout rooms that come with fitness equipment, its SuperFoodsRx menu that it says are rich in nutrients and antioxidants, and its Unwind hour in hotel lobbies. All of these things are touted on its Web site as part of the “Westin Difference,” but Povinelli says this slogan is not really part of Westin’s overt marketing campaign.
“We wanted an in-market promotion that reinforces our wellness platform,” Povinelli. “But then we wanted to give people an opportunity to connect with the brand past the hotel experience.”
Povinelli says Westin will look for additional wellness products that are a good fit for the hub. “Just like any store, we’ll kind of merchandize it with what’s successful and remove what there isn’t interest in,” he says.
In addition, Westin is offering a $100 Amazon gift card promotion for customers who stay twice mid-week through May 13. Approximately 30,000 people have registered for the promotion thus far, Povinelli says.
Lori Dicker, CEO of marketing firm Karma Media Labs, says travelers don’t generally think about wellness products like Westin’s until after they have made a reservation.
“We’ve seen many hotels market their spa products in the hotel room – this goes beyond,” she says.
And, Dicker says, Westin should ultimately benefit from more brand engagement before, during and after a customer’s stay.
“This is an interesting positioning move on their part to partner with an established portal like Amazon to further their wellness presence by not just selling more product, but selling a state of mind they hope resonates with their customers,” she says.
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