Purpose: While the topic of “umbrella branding” strategies for manufacturers’ products in the business-to-business literature has received attention, much less has been written about umbrella branding strategies in the hospitality industry. With the aid of a theoretical framework, this paper aims to explore three types of behavioural characteristics: alliance attribute, communication behaviour and alliance management, to examine cost and service benefits for alliance success within one umbrella organisation in the German hospitality industry. The theoretical framework of the paper built on the model of Vanpoucke and Vereecke (2012), incorporating a top management perspective to test and extend an umbrella brand. Design/methodology/approach: Semi-structured interviews with a sample of senior managers were carried out in Germany at the headquarters of Ringhotels e.V. Content analysis of the data collected was implemented to increase understanding of the research phenomenon with regard to relationships and the conceptual framework applied. The results were presented in the tables with discussions about the qualitative research. Findings: The results of the study showed that behavioural characteristics played a significant role in explaining overall alliance success on cost and service benefits. A good level of quality presented in Ringhotels’ services, marketing, risk and coordination was found to be a better predictor of success when absence of management and lack of trust hampered good performance. Originality/value: The study offers insights into the management of relationships within Ringhotels e.V. and how these can be better managed. The main contribution of the work fills in a gap currently existing in the literature about umbrella branding within the hospitality industry.