Who would have thought that a hospitality company could turn into the next hotspot for finding new musical talent? Starwood Hotels is aiming to do just that with its Aloft brand. In short, Aloft is a chain of around 56 hotels around the world, geared toward the economically minded, young business traveler. In regular speak, Aloft caters to business people seeking an affordable yet hip and modern place to stay. Clearly, the hip appearance isn’t satisfying enough to Starwood when it comes to broadening Aloft’s reputation – they want to start thinking outside the box. This article sums up the concept well, but I will bullet point in case you’re too lazy to read it:
- Aloft has already hosted onsite performers such as Jon McLaughlin, Sleeper Agent, and Green River Ordinance (among others)
- “Live at Aloft Hotels” is a tour that will continue through the summer, stopping only at Aloft Hotels
- Aloft seeks to find the next big star (in a competition dubbed “Project Aloft: Star“) in three markets: the Americas, Europe and the Middle East, and Asia
- Aloft is doing the talent search with experts; they include alt/rock group We Are Scientists in the Europe/Middle East division of the competition
Will this trend take off? If established artists and entities are jumping on board already, chances are it will. Aloft exudes the hip vibe possible to make this concept seem not totally bonkers. Most importantly though, the concept will expose up and coming artists to an entirely new demographic – one that isn’t typically comprised of music super-geeks that travel to see favorite artists. Given that the average person (when it comes to music tastes) is more likely to be exposed to these events, a more accurate gauge of whether or not an artist will succeed or not emerges. Hence, the Aloft brand wins for being unusual and the industry benefits from a new, unique platform. Who knows, maybe similar select-service hotels will try similar strategies (I’m looking at you, Cambria Suites).