Defining Brand Loyalty in the Hotel Industry

By Bill Linehan Executive Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer, Red Lion Hotels Corporation | October 04, 2015

Co-authored by Brigette Pence, Director of Relationship Marketing, Red Lion Hotel Corporation.

Disrupters and brand loyalty are the jargon de jour among retail based industries. Even loyalty is making its metamorphosis into the more descriptive recognition. The jargon is evolving in an attempt to keep pace with its ever-changing environment as brands struggle to gain and retain the fleeting attention of consumers bombarded with messaging. Retail sales is more than the sum of its product. It is a masterful and complex interlinking of imagery and awareness that lead the consumer to purchase and advocate within their social circle. You are what you buy. The hotel industry is a retail based industry and savvy marketers are using retail based modeling to grow consumer's share of wallet and brand loyalty.

It is commonly stated that marketing and brand loyalty originated in the U.S. with the evolution of the engagement ring. While the clarity, quality and size of the diamond and the intricacy of the setting has become the defining significance of the engagement ring, it did not start out that way. Originally, the engagement ring was a simple band of gold.

Similarly, what began as an offer by companies to entice repeat business in customers became an unwieldy and expensive proposition. In the hotel industry, loyalty programs are a form of currency with tax and liability implications, all in an effort to persuade and retain guests. Ironically, through the evolution of hospitality based loyalty programs, somehow the onus is on guests to earn the loyalty of hotel companies by spending more and staying more in order to gain some level of recognition.

Wait a minute…

Has Loyalty Become Guest Recognition for the Elite?

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Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

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