Budget chain A&O starts its relaunch

A&O HOTELS and HOSTELS is redefining its brand and hotel design.

"We are the most successful hostel chain in Germany. We now want to become market leaders throughout Europe. Our cost leadership structure will be supplemented by a reworked interior design and a new brand presence”, emphasizes Phillip Winter, Chief Marketing Officer of the A&O Hotel Group.

A&O is investing over one million euros for all measures. The first realisations of the new hotel concept are planned for the end of 2017 at the A&O Berlin Mitte and at the A&O Hamburg Hauptbahnhof.

Interior design by BWM
A&O is receiving professional support from the award-winning BWM architectural office, which has already transformed other industry participants. The company from Vienna were very convincing during the tender procedure. With clear answers to the issue of how the increasing ambiguity between hostels and hotels can be avoided. With an urban, pragmatic and clear vision, and courage to be minimalistic. "We have focused on growth and costs during the past 16 years. Now we are putting the focus back onto our customers, the service and the product without forgetting the former. This will be an exciting time, fantastic for the customers and uncomfortable for the competition", explains Oliver Winter, CEO of the A&O Group.

Market research by GfK
"The product uplift is geared towards all parts of the company, as it is our responsibility to satisfy the expectations of our guests. We have started cooperating with Germany's largest market research institute, GfK, so that we can understand today's customers and anticipate their wishes. They are using a nation-wide study to help us clarify the potentials and development opportunities in the case of single travellers", adds Phillip Winter.

Brand identity by moodley
As an agency for brand strategy and innovation, A&O is putting its faith in moodley – a company with expertise in the branding, digital, packaging and publishing segments. Other stories of success include boutique hotels in Graz and Vienna. The A&O Berlin Mitte will be the flagship hotel with a capacity of over 1,600 beds and a room occupancy rate of 71 percent.

Joint values of management and employees
In addition to engaging external agencies, the A&O group is also relying on the expertise of its staff. In the first quarter, "Mission-Vision-Values" were developed in teams at the establishments in Berlin, Weimar and Hamburg. Our very own quality management system complemented the strategies developed from this and integrated the results thereof into corporate communications.

Speaking about the internal measures, CEO Winter said: "From the in-house technician to the front office manager, from accountancy, the service centre, to the departmental management – we have received a colourful variety of ideas and perspectives, which form a good basis for the new corporate image. We have deliberately chosen a comprehensive, transparent method involving active exchanges, so that we are able to develop a realistic corporate vision.“