Highlights From the 2018 Reputation Rankings: Midscale Brands
In this week’s installment of our segment analysis series from ReviewPro’s 2018 Hotel Brand Reputation Rankings, we look at the Midscale segment. Drawing from 15 million reviews of 32,359 branded hotels in the U.S. and Canada, the report identifies the best and worst performers and trends related to brand reputation.
Ranking by Global Review Index™ (GRI)
The top three tiers of the midscale chain scale are occupied by four smaller brands: GrandStay Residential Suites Hotel (GRI™ 89.1%), Crystal Inn Hotels & Suites (GRI™ 88.9%), ClubHouse (GRI™ 88.5%) and Tru by Hilton (GRI™ 88.1%). The largest players sit in the middle rankings of the segment, with Best Western in 7th place, La Quinta Inn & Suites in 12th place, and Quality Inn in 15th place out of 23 brands. As in the other segments analyzed in the report, most brands improved their online reputation in 2018 compared to the previous period, with an overall average increase of 0.7%.
Rankings by Department Index
The importance of value and room ratings in shaping overall online reputation tends to increase when moving down the chain scales. The brand with the highest value ratings, GrandStay Residential Suites Hotel, also ranks highest for overall reputation in terms of the GRI™. The same is true to for the ranking by room ratings, where the first two brands rank in the same positions as in the Global Review Index™.
Here are the top midscale brands by department:
GrandStay Residential Suites Hotel 88.6%
MainStay Suites 86.3%
Candlewood Suites 86.2%
GrandStay Residential Suites Hotel 90.7%
Crystal Inn Hotels & Suites 90.1%
Tru by Hilton 92.8%
GrandStay Residential Suites Hotel 91.2%
Crystal Inn Hotels & Suites 90.9%
Review Source Indexes
In contrast to the higher chain scales, Booking.com contributed the lion’s share of online reviews for branded hotels in the midscale segment, with an incredible 33.9% of total reviews. Google represents 24% of total reviews, more than doubling (+134.7%) the number of reviews compared to the previous twelve months. If Google can keep up a similar pace, it may very well command the highest share of reviews for midscale brands in the not too distant future.
Looking further at trends, Hotels.com appears to be positioned to take over the third spot from TripAdvisor thanks to an 8.4% growth in review volume. TripAdvisor had over 34,000 fewer reviews posted to its platform than in the previous period, for a total review market share of 14.8%.
Midscale brands respond less to reviews than their higher-scale peers. They also have greater opportunities to improve in terms of response times. From the second quarter of 2017 to the first quarter of 2018, around 32% of reviews were responded in this segment. Interestingly, slightly more positive reviews (33.9%) received a response than negative reviews (33.1%), bucking the trend in other segments.
In a separate report, ReviewPro found that it took branded hotels in the midscale segment almost 10 days to respond to reviews on average. More surprisingly, for negative reviews this number stands at 11.3 days. Clearly, midscale hotels have some work to do. A good place to start would be to download our guide to responding to guest feedback.