Monna Nordhagen new chair for HSMAI Region Europe’s Marketing and Branding Advisory Board

HSMAI Region Europe is expanding its reach with the Marketing Advisory Board now renamed Marketing and Branding. The organisation aims to focus on improving the travel and hospitality industry’s reach. The Marketing Advisory Board has been under the competent guidance of the board’s chair, Mövenpick Hotels and Resorts’ former SVP, Paul Mulcahy, now to be replaced by Monna Nordhagen.

Paul Mulcahy has now left Mövenpick and just recently started as Managing Director Europe, Middle East, Africa at RCI Vacation Exchange.

‘We are grateful for his efforts in the Marketing Advisory Board and would like to congratulate him on his new and very interesting position in RCI Vacation Exchange,’ says HSMAI Region Europe President and CEO Ingunn Hofseth.

Due to the new job he now wants to step down as the advisory board’s chair succeeded by the recently elected Monna Nordhagen.

Focus on talent attraction, competing offerings, sustainability

‘We strongly believe that the industry will benefit from a fresh perspective on our business and our brands. Two challenges that most of our advisory boards raised last year were talent attraction and new competing or complementing offerings threatening our existing business models,’ Ingunn Hofseth informs.

Sustainability issues are becoming strategically important, and this challenge has increased dramatically over the last year. All these issues are related not to each of our brands, but to the way our industry is perceived.

‘We believe Monna is the person that can help us address these questions from a branding point of view and thereby widen the scope of the Marketing Advisory Board without forgetting the practicalities of modern marketing,’ Hofseth continues.

Branding as strategic tool

Monna Nordhagen’s passion revolves around two areas, both of which are relevant to our industry today: branding as a strategic tool to position categories, companies, products and services, and branding as a tool to mobilise employees, customers and other stakeholders to engage with brands and participate in realising their missions. She is also a readaholic for all things related to her field, a toolsmith forging complex theory into useful tools for leaders, a much-used speaker and author of the book Rockets and Rebels – strategy for anyone looking to build brands that move people.

‘Monna is new to HSMAI Region Europe, but not new to our industry and HSMAI. She was also one of the experts at our Commercial Summer Camp last month. I met Monna years ago, when she was a pioneer in developing the first digital brands as well as digital marketing and sales capabilities for the Schibsted Media Group. Media in general and Schibsted in particular were far ahead of the hospitality industry in developing their digital capabilities, offerings and business models, and we used Monna for inspiration on the digital shift and branding. Since then Monna has pursued a career in the murky waters between business and brand strategy, now as Strategy Director in Scandinavian Design Group. She and SDG know our industry well from working with brand strategy and execution for among others destination brands, hotels, transportation, start-ups in our industry and festivals,’ the HSMAI Region Europe President and CEO explains.

Gearing up for the digital shift

‘Industries and businesses all over the world have been hit by the double tsunami of the digital shift and the need for transitioning to sustainable business practices. This is fundamentally impacting marketing and branding, and although we have learned a lot, we are still getting our heads around how to navigate and win in this new and rapidly changing environment. My ambition for the advisory board is to contribute to marketing and branding taking leading roles in this transition, putting our tools to work for good for individuals, businesses and ultimately society. As a newbie member in the HSMAI Region Europe network I am humble as well as a bit star-struck looking at the combined resources of the team I have been asked to lead. But mostly excited and ready to get to it,’ Monna Nordhagen declares in a statement.

‘Scandinavian Design Group has been working with hospitality and destination brands for years, with a mission to build better businesses through design thinking. Now is the time for us to engage with the industry as a whole through HSMAI Region Europe. We hope to learn, contribute and engage through the Marketing and Branding Advisory board as well as with everyone we meet in the HSMAI member network ,’ says Scandinavian Design Group’s Deputy Managing Director Christian Braathen.

The HSMAI team is also very happy to welcome three new members joining this Advisory Board, namely:

Jean-Charles Denis, IHG, VP Commercial Europe
Philippe Roy, American Express, Director Global Client Group Europe, Head of the Hospitality Vertical
Chris McGuire, 80 DAYS, Managing Partner

HSMAI’s plan is to add more marketing people to this Advisory Board, with varying skill sets.