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white paper Brand Confusion: Are Loyalty Programs Part of the Problem or Part of the Solution?

Oඞඍකඞඑඍඟ For many of us in the hospitality business, the fantasy of true customer loyalty is that

T

he focus on “customer loyalty” by most hotels most of the time is little more than generating repeat customers, something which a well-executed hotel experience should result in any way (if it doesn’t, you’re probably in the wrong business). In brands, customer loyalty results in guests staying at other hotels within the brand family, a good and valuable outcome. But for smaller hotels, a loyal customer is a much more important and complex prize. True loyalty, the kind of loyalty that results in guests evangelizing your hotel and feeling personally proud of your success, should be the goal of independent hotels and small chains. This paper discusses what this loyalty really is and how to achieve it.

that we can

The fact is that using the word loyalty in the context of the hospitality business is something of a misnomer and can, when not contextualized, lead to focusing on the wrong business issues and spending valuable resources on programs and projects that, in the end, achieve no real business improvement.

do no wrong

The Encyclopedia Britannica defines loyalty as:

our guests will view us as do our animals –

"Allegiance to the sovereign or established government of one's country" and “Personal devotion and reverence to the sovereign and royal family” (notably leaving out any reference to hotel or hotel brand)

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Loyalty is a strong term, massively imbued with emotional resonance that, in the end, makes a mockery of the way it is used in business: The only honest reaction and true loyalty we get is from our animals. Once they're your friends, you can do no wrong. (Dick van Patten) While this quote is clearly extreme, there is a ring of truth to it – for many of us in the hospitality business, the fantasy of true customer loyalty is that our guests will view us as do our animals – that we can do no wrong. Or, should we do wrong, that it is really of no consequence, and we should be forgiven. Our ex-

Excerpted from the article by Protean Managing Partner Laurence Bernstein first published in Hotelexecutive.com (http://hotelexecutive.com)

Understanding Brand Experiences that Lead to Customer Loyalty  

The focus on “customer loyalty” by most hotels most of the time is little more than generating repeat customers, something which a well-exec...

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