Marriott International – A Leading Example of Hotel Corporation that has Revolutionized the Customer Loyalty Strategies in the Industry

Marriott International (Links to an external site.) is one of the largest hotel corporations in the industry with a portfolio of 30 brands and more than 7000 properties located in 131 countries around the world. Since its foundation, the organization has strived to be an exemplary model in customer loyalty strategies. Indeed, significant innovation in terms of customer experience has been one of the main reasons this hotel parent company has led the industry. If you are a hotelier looking to increase your customer’s loyalty, then Marriott could be a source of inspiration to offer seamless experience to your guests enticing them to stay again at your property. Customer’s delight and personalization have been at the center of Marriott strategies which have proved to be the key to the company’s success.

What is Customer Loyalty in the Hotel Industry?

Customer loyalty can be measured by how likely your guests will repeat business at your hotel and the reasons behind the decision of staying at your property again over time. According to the hotel sales and marketing organization CVENT (Links to an external site.), it is the result of superior service making guests trusting the brand and encouraging them to become loyal. Indeed, CVENT lists the different ways guest’s loyalty can be gained which are exceeding guest’s expectations, offering unique and personalized experience, understanding guest’s needs and wants, showing care to guest’s feedbacks, demonstrating dedication to service improvement and developing strong and long-lasting ties with frequent travelers. Customer’s loyalty strategies have evolved over the generation in the hotel industry especially with new technologies enabling the use of valuable guest’s data.

How Marriott Has Inspired the Hotel Industry with its Innovative Customer Loyalty Strategies

This company has thought beyond providing comfortable rooms and beautiful hotel lobbies to improve their guest’s satisfaction and loyalty. Furthermore, Marriott has gone above offering simple loyalty programs to its members that offer upgrades and discounts by redeeming points. Indeed, the organization has implemented ingenious plans to attract repeat guests to its numerous properties across the globe. Here are some strategies that Marriott uses to attract frequent guests and increase their lifetime values according to the organization Sharpen specialized in customer satisfaction:

Personalized Guest’s Interaction: Marriott has offered the possibility to its guests to interact with its property’s operators before, during and after their stay to better understand and satisfy their needs. Through digital platforms, the organization has allowed digital interaction with its guests to customize their stays. The company has also partnered with organizations like Salesforce (Links to an external site.) to offer frictionless and seamless experience to its guest by having a comprehensive view of their profiles. The technology offered by Salesforce allows employees to communicate with guests doing special requests from any channel (website, mobile apps, etc). For example, via live chat, a guest can ask for special types of pillows and dry-cleaning service even months or weeks in advance. Indeed, the company has seen the willingness of its guests to share information which can allow to anticipate needs and significantly improve guest’s experience. As a result, the organization has been successful at strengthening relationships with its guests who look forward to their next visit.

Offering data-driven experience: Marriott has used state-of-the-art technologies allowing to collect valuable information about its guests and offer data driven experience. As the company is focused on having a clear understanding of its customers, hotel administrators are able to offer the most personalized experience to its guests. As a result of informing business decisions through the wide use of people’s data, Marriott is able to better meet guest’s expectations and drive customer’s loyalty.

Making employees happy to make customers happy: Marriott has focused its efforts on taking good care of their employees so they are motivated to take good care of its guests. Showing care to its employees has been at the heart of the organization success in terms of customer’s loyalty. The Executive Vice-President of the corporation, David Rodriguez (Links to an external site.) said that putting people first which is the first core value of the company has pushed its workers to achieve their outmost performance. As a result, caring about their employee’s well-being has been key to have engaged workers motivated to provide excellent customer service experience. As a result, Marriott has been able to retain a talent poll dedicated to make guests satisfied and loyal to the brand.

In sum, Marriott has understood how cheaper it is to attract loyal customers than new ones. The organization has been successful as its operators are not focused on offering a single good hotel experience but rather encouraging their guests to continue have Marriott as first choice for future stays. Except from having a successful loyalty program, the company has taken innovative initiatives to retain its guests through customer’s care. Start applying Marriott methods based on customer care and delight, and you will see how your customer’s loyalty will significantly increase at your property!







Achieving Brand Resonance among your Hotel Guests

Are you willing to develop a strong brand and make sure to connect with your guests on a very deep level? Then, you should think about the brand resonance model that was designed by the scholar Keller and build your strategies in a way your customers reach the last phase of the pyramid so-called Resonance. This brand resonance model is widely used in the business world to form powerful branding.

What is Brand Resonance?

Brand resonance is achieved when your hotel brand resonates in your guest’s mind. The goal is to make your guests build intense ties with your brand so they highly relate to it and establish trust. As a hotelier, you want to create a brand that will make your guests feel good, loved, happy, comfortable so they are willing to stay at your property over and over again. This concept is well illustrated by the model created by the Marketing professor Keller who designed 6 brand building blocks leading to the path of resonance.

Below are the different stages of the Brand Resonance Model explained:

Salience: As a hotelier, it is important to design strategies, so your brand is easily identifiable and recognized. In order to make your brand relevant to your audience, it is important to know well your target market and determine your brand identity. The goal is to be in your customer’s top of mind and achieve deep brand awareness.

Performance: In order to determine the performance of your brand, you have to think whether it meets your guest’s functional needs. The elements that you can assess here are the quality of your service, style and design, price, efficiency, reliability, etc. As a hotelier, an important aspect of your brand performance you can evaluate is your guest’s experience.

Imagery: At this stage, you must have a clear idea about how you want your property to appear in your customer’s mind. It has to do with your guest’s psychology and how they relate to your brand as far as concern their social needs. Once you understand better your brand meaning and points of parity and difference with regards to your competitors, you will most likely be able to satisfy your guest’s requirements.

Judgments: As it is critical to have guests build positive judgements towards your hotel, you must assess your brand with regards to its quality, considerations, superiority and credibility. You have to design strategies leading to have your guests have favorable opinions about your service.

Feelings: When building your brand, you want to make sure your customers have positive reactions and emotional response towards it. The more intense and positive those feelings are among your guests, the better it is for your brand image. You may want to develop a hotel brand that bring these following feelings to your guests for instance: joy, warmth, fun, happiness, excitement, security, etc. Your advertising campaigns should be designed in a way to create strong emotional connections with your guests to favor this stage of the model.

Brand Resonance: Resonance is the ultimate goal that every marketers try to reach. It defined by how well synchronized your guests are with your hotel brand. The more your guests identify with your brand, the strongest is your brand resonance. It determines the nature and level of the relationship your customers have with your brand. It can be measured by your customer’s loyalty, attachment, community and engagement. To achieve this objective, you have to make sure your staff is well-trained to build solid ties with your guests who would be looking forward to their next visit. By offering unique experience to your customers, you will be able to resonate in themselves. This will allow you to attract repeat guests and strengthen your brand equity.

Below is an example of a brand resonance model applied to one of the most famous hotel chains in the world, InterContinental Hotel according to the marketing professional Ji Sang HYEON:

Once you will be able to achieve your guest brand’s resonance, you will create profound ties with them. As a result, they are most likely incorporating your brand to their lives. If you are willing to have your guests continue choosing your hotel and reach a significant brand equity, this model is key to develop resonance among your customers. In sum, true brand resonance means important customer engagement and loyalty, and this signifies higher profitability to your company. As you are ready to make your organization achieve the greatest financial performance, rethink your branding strategies through the brand resonance model to attain the highest customer lifetime value ever recorded in your hotel organization.