Hilton has officially rolled out its new brand – Denizen. I always thought the term was somewhat pejorative, but branding folks should know better so I went on a web search expedition.
Visits to three dictionaries (and some great art you can see in the video below) make me wonder how much global and modern appeal this new brand generates. Merriam-Webster, Random House (via the always useful dictionary.com from Ask.com) and the Oxford English Dictionary all pretty much agree that a denizen is an inhabitant of something.
Some noted an older British meaning that was not very polite. The funniest similarity was how often alcohol played into the definition. M-W included this as part of its definition, “one that frequents a place <nightclub denizens>”. Not to be outdone, dictionary.com weighed in with “the denizens of a local bar”. And since no one outdoes the OED, consider one type of non-human denizen, “<the tapeworm is an inhabitant of the intestine>”. After that excursion, I thought it best to look at pictures of denizens. Our screencast below shows that the dictionary editors were polite. Those denizens, they’re pretty scary.
So now the big question is if Hilton has made a horrible branding mistake and can redefine the term. What do you think? Silver Beacon’s web tour of the word “denizen”