How a New Boutique Hotel Launch is Targeting Millennials

LOS ANGELES  Marriott International is giving its new boutique brand Moxy an attitude and hoping that idea will attract its target demographic: millennial travelers. And with plans to roll out more than 100 hotels in the next decade (the first is already open in Milan) under the Moxy name, the hotel giant has devised a launch strategy that will not only travel the country, but also convey the sense of fun and individuality young travelers would identify with. Kicking off the initiative was a two-event program—a V.I.P. cocktail party on January 26 followed by the launch and happy hour on January 27—at the Nokia Plaza L.A. Live in Los Angeles that also served as the official announcement for the brand's entry into the United States market.

“The brand is defined by its attitude,” said Moxy Hotels global brand director Vicki Poulos. “Moxy is spirited, always buzzing with high energy, interesting people, and an energetic crew. The guest is confident and self-aware—well versed in how to travel in today’s tech-enabled world.”

As part of the program, the brand commissioned designer-artist-illustrator-DJ Margot Bowman to act as the Moxy creative director during the American Lodging and Investment Summit (held January 26 to 28 at the JW Marriott and Nokia Theatre L.A. Live), curating a series of installations including paint-by-numbers-style artwork based around the secretive behavior that goes on between bars and hotel rooms.

Additionally, Moxy collaborated with Stila—selecting the cosmetics brand for its like-minded spirit of individualism and creativity—to provide makeovers. It is planned as part of a long-term partnership.

And to focus on building awareness with millennial guests, the events moved to maximize the social media exposure, particularly on Instagram. Organizers incorporated the hashtag #AttheMoxy into the event space and invitations. Beyond that, brand reps said the social media push is important to the brand's overall effort to tie into one of the hotel's core concepts: Rooms are on the smaller side, but bring guests together for interaction. Playing up that emphasis on interactivity at the events were communal tables and games.

Creating further visual impact—not to mention Instagram bait—was container-based structure designer SG Blocks, which built an open-air bar and a hotel room mock-up. The 20- by 8-foot bar had external flaps to make it expandable to 20 by 20 feet. And the container hotel room prototype will live indefinitely on display at Marriott’s headquarters.

The brand plans to host future launch events in the major metropolitan locations getting the hotels, including New York, San Francisco, Seattle, New Orleans, and Chicago.