Can you name every brand of hotel covered by your favorite frequent guest program?
According to a study conducted by Phoenix Marketing International, the answer is, most probably, “No.”
The consulting firm has found that very few members of these programs can correctly identify all the hotel brands that participate in these programs. Most dramatically, no surveyed member of the Hilton HHonors, Radisson Gold Rewards or the Starwood Preferred Guest programs could identify all the Hilton, Radisson or Starwood hotel brands participating in the respective programs.
Phoenix reserved special kudos for the marketing and communications group at Choice Privileges, as a large majority of their members correctly identified all six hotel brands that participate in the program (Clarion, Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Main Stay, Quality Inn and Sleep Inn). In comparison, less than one in three Marriott Rewards members could name all of the participating Marriott brands.
The Hotel SCORES study surveyed nearly 4,000 members of hotel frequent guest programs and probed awareness, membership, usage and perception regarding more than a dozen hotel frequent guest programs.
According to Greg Diaz, vice president, Travel Research Group at Phoenix Marketing, “Hotel SCORES was designed to fill a void in the industry knowledge bank by focusing on not just the upscale hotel programs, but also on those programs offered by the moderate and economy lodging segments. In addition, by focusing on both airline and auto travelers, Hotel SCORES gives a more complete picture of the perceptions and value of hotel frequent guest programs.”
Why is it important for hotel frequent guest programs to communicate the lodging brands that participate in their programs?
Diaz indicated that data from the study show that two out of five frequent guest program members claim programs influence their lodging choice a significant amount of the time. An additional two out of five claim these programs sometimes influence their decision of hotel selection.
Clearly, these are strong indicators of the value of hotel frequent guest programs. Even more interesting, though, was the finding that one-third of all frequent guest members indicated, if their preferred hotel chain was not available, they would first look to an alternative hotel that was part of their preferred program.
Diaz believes that “The message to communicate all hotel brands in a hotel frequent guest program could not be clearer. Increased chain awareness can have a positive effect on revenue and it will help keep a valued customer from staying at, and potentially becoming more active in a competitor program.”
The data from the Hotel SCORES study yields a 95% confidence level with an accuracy of +/-1.6%.