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Moxy = moxie = Millennial

Marriott recently announced the introduction of a new chain of hotels, called “Moxy”. Aimed at the Millennial set with a bit less money than those staying at W, Moxy will be launched first in Europe, but you can expect it to be expanded rapidly from there if it catches on.

Three things to note:

1) the name is a variation on a word (“moxie”) first made popular in the 1920s in the US, and based on a drink that claimed to give you strength and courage. Someone who had “moxie” was a person who wasn’t afraid to fight back, either in the boxing ring on in life in general. From a marketing view, it’s an example of a retro term that is supposed to attract a segment whose grandparents weren’t alive when the term first emerged in the US lexicon.

2) It’s also an example of “trans-border segmenting”, meaning that the same type of people who may go for this kind of hotel can be found in advanced countries around the world (India, Brazil, China, etc.)

3) This will likely also be an example of “stealth” branding in that the Marriott name won’t be prominent, if even present, except that Moxy will accept Marriott Rewards points. Marriott is a strong hospitality brand, but “hip” it isn’t.