Tag: hotel loyalty

What People Really Want from a Loyalty Program

Brands, what does your loyalty program offer your customers? And customers, what are you looking for in a loyalty program? According to this study from BizReport, most customers are members of at least one loyalty program. What’s your favorite loyalty program? Does it offer these features? Is it missing something? Tell us in the comments below!

Loyalty programs continue to grow across the globe, especially with younger consumers. New data out from Club Carlson shows loyalty programs are more popular with those under age 65 than those over 65, with grocery stores have the biggest programs.
by Kristina KnightNew loyalty data out from Club Carlson shows exactly what consumers want more of – points and stays. . .and also WiFi. Many believe hotel loyalty programs should include free WiFi, allowing the consumer to skip the pricey daily connection costs.
“Seventy-eight percent of Americans are members of at least one brand loyalty program; and Americans ages 18-64 are much more likely to join compared to those older than 65,” was written in the report. “Grocery stores have the most members, with 50 percent acknowledging their participation in a grocer’s rewards program. This is followed by credit cards offering points, retail stores, and hotels.”
The report also shows:

  • 4 in 5 consumers say they’re interested in hotel loyalty programs but 66% also say it takes 3 or more stays to create a loyalty bond
  • 41% say they’ll cancel a loyalty program after a single disappointing experience
  • 60% say they have more than 1 hotel loyalty program and they ‘shop around’ to find the best deal for any stay

Most (78%) of Americans are members of at least one brand loyalty program. And one more interesting note: many loyalty program members are willing to buy additional points to reach those large rewards. For example, hotel reward program members say they would be willing to pony up some cash for a free night stay when they are close to the free-stay-threshold.

Club Carlson is a global hotel rewards program; their researchers polled more than 1,000 customers between April 24 and May 1, 2013 to come to their conclusions.

The future of hotel loyalty programs

Airlines, Hotels, and Retailers take notice:  the popularity of loyalty programs is growing; but so is the dissatisfaction over program benefits and rewards when it comes to the high number of points or miles necessary for redemption, and rewards that consumers recognize to be valuable.

Brands must understand this new evolution of loyalty consumer demand, and a new whitepaper from the first club™Loyalty: Looking Forward: The State of the Loyalty Industry and its Digitized, Instant Future” provides insight into the next generation of loyalty programs. “Loyalty: Looking Forward” focuses on the challenges of low motivation at the lower spectrum of loyalty program customers.  What can brands do to prevent flight of customers who maintain low accumulations of points?  The broad answer:  provide incremental rewards that are relevant to the consumer, easily attainable, and instantly available through digital content.

68% of consumers feel that a loyalty program can strengthen their relationship with a brand, and successful rewards programs will cater to this demand for relevant offerings by providing a wide array of instantly-available digital content. “Loyalty: Looking Forward” provides specific industry data for airlines, hotels, and retailers: information that is essential to the loyalty program manager striving to prepare for the digital reward evolution.

A look inside “Loyalty: Looking Forward”:

Digital Content

48% of consumers spend more with a company whose loyalty program offers content that is relevant to them personally.  65% have purchased digital content online.  It is imperative, therefore, that brands implement programs that offer a wide array of content that is available digitally and easily.


The modernization of airline FFPs to include digital rewards will substantially decrease airlines’ exposure to financial liability (by encouraging the incremental redemption of miles), and will resonate with consumers who clearly desire more value from their airline loyalty program.


In today’s online deal-shopping atmosphere, consumers are less responsive to in-hotel premium services.  The days of offering elite “status” or premium service for customer loyalty are eroding.  The new day requires an offer or promise of tangible added value: 47% of consumers are motivated to join programs that provide instant gratification.


Offering direct discounts for loyalty program members gives retailers the ability to immediately impact consumer decisions; these discount incentives, however, are easily duplicated by competitors.  The result: price wars within the segment.  Instead, companies have market expansion opportunities via loyalty programs or promotions that engage consumers.

Loyalty: Looking Forward” provides:

  • A look at what digital content consumers are demanding.
  • Explains how digital rewards provide hotels a cost effective opportunity to match these consumer demands.
  • Explains how cross-promoting across brands through digital rewards will expand a retailer’s market and increase margins.

Featuring latest statistics and defining characteristics of various industry loyalty programs presented by the first club™, “Loyalty: Looking Forward” will help program managers grasp emerging loyalty trends and their digitized, instant future.

Original document from Exebit.

Time for Hotels to Rethink Their Loyalty Programs

by Denis Huré and Jill Goldworn

For many years now, hotels have offered their loyalty reward program members the most logical rewards: recognition and appreciation through premium service. This is no longer a competitive option. Consider the rise of OTA loyalty programs: by leveraging their strength and reach across a multitude of brands, OTAs are developing universal programs that offer customers real savings through free stays and deep discounts. The thought of a single brand competing with this concept is a tall order. It’s time for hotels to rethink their approach to loyalty.

Backing up the OTA concept, a recent Chief Marketing Officer Council study found that 66% of top loyalty program members said that “discount and savings” were among top priority across all segments. The two attributes that most hotel programs primarily rely upon, “more individualized attention” and “recognition and appreciation,” represented only 30% combined. Clearly, discounts and savings are today’s trend in loyalty programs.

Of course, if hotels want to discount, they can simply discount their rate to loyalty program customers; however, a better way is to charge normal rate and offer the loyal customer a tangible incentive that captures their attention while representing true savings, or relevance, to them. This incentive should be a low-cost solution in order to provide an ROI that exceeds the amount of a comparable rate discount to the customer. There’s just one problem: most tangible incentives have a high cost of redemption/fulfillment — thus, ROI is harder to maintain.

So how can hotels provide loyalty program members with a more tangible incentive? According to a recent Mintel study, 61% of the respondents suggested that an important attribute of a rewards program would be redemption for merchandise they would buy anyway. Call it a relevant reward: something the loyalty member will probably buy, regardless of their interaction or involvement with your hotel.

The challenge here is to offer a large variety of products, throughout a variety of categories, to capture the relevant reward interest of each loyalty program member. In addition, relevant rewards have a timeframe: they are usually relatively inexpensive items that will be purchased within days. Only digital content can provide such a large variety of content (music, books, games, and more) instantly. In this way, instant digital content is a tangible incentive, seen as a real discount, or savings: a relevant reward.

In addition to offering loyalty members relevant rewards, digital content provides an adaptable solution to combat OTA programs. One example: in order to steer customers away from commission-based sites, hotels can offer instantly downloadable content as an added incentive for booking direct. The opportunities for promotion are endless and cost effective. Furthermore, the digital download platform gives hotels the ability to immediately track message effectiveness and add customer information to existing CRM programs.

So think about rethinking your loyalty program. It’s doubtful that individual properties can compete with the trend in OTA programs, so it’s time to attack it from a different angle.

Your Burn and Earn Program Starts Right Here, with the first club™

Welcome to Digital Rewards 3.0, with our new site enhancements that offer more download solutions, more choice to engage customers with our growing catalogue of instant, digital content, and more opportunities to burn points and earn revenues and rewards.

We’ve recently added new features to the first club™ site, to give your customers the very best rewards redemptions that can enhance engagement with your brand, and create more opportunities to maximize promotional incentives for little cost through instant, branded rewards.

Some of enhancements you’ll find when visiting www.thefirstclub.com include:

CURRENCY: Club Coins, our digital currency (or use your brand’s points or miles), are displayed by category and level, making rewards more attainable and redeemable.

CONTENT: more than 40 million titles including music, games, software, mobile apps, eBooks and audio books in 12 languages to date, are available for instant download to any digital or personal device.

DESIGN: easier-to-view and navigate pages offer more content, more categories at a glance.

CUSTOMIZATION: Users can personalize their home page and select only the content they want displayed. Content can be organized or archived.

SEARCH: Improved search capabilities means users can now browse through digital content easily and quickly.

WISH LIST: a brand new function, the wish list lets users save their favourite content for download at a later time.

Our global digital delivery platform integrates directly into any existing rewards or loyalty program, so take a tour of the first club today and see how our instant branded rewards can drive revenues and increase customer satisfaction.

To receive your complimentary Club Coins to redeem from our growing catalogue of instant digital rewards, please contact us at clubhouse@thefirstclub.com or call +44.203.318.3103 (UK) or + 1 (805) 688-0344 (US).

Instant. Rewards. Branded.

Why Choose Instant, Branded Rewards?

At the first club™ we present a better and more effective way to offer rewards and build loyalty with your customers.

We do that by delivering relevant, digital content that is instantly gratifying to today’s consumers.

Our digital solutions can enhance loyalty, promotions, incentives and any type of rewards programs to engage consumers worldwide through attainable low-level rewards.

Our solutions are easily integrated into existing loyalty and reward programs, are cost-efficient and scalable to encourage low level reward redemption, increase customer loyalty and create additional revenues for brands.

If you would like to learn more about our range of digital rewards solutions, and how brands are successfully using the first club™, please contact us at clubhouse@thefirstclub.com.

InterContinental Hotels Group Pushes for younger loyalty members with Online Trivia Game

by Brian Quinton

On the heels of launching a pilot program with a platform that lets users win rewards for checking in to its hotels via location-based services, InterContinental Hotels Group has enhanced its Priority Club rewards program with a travel trivia game that lets registered members win extra points in daily and weekly contests. The introduction of game play into loyalty programs is a growing strategy with marketers spending more time thinking like gamers when developing or updating their programs.

Priority Club members can enter their account number and PIN to play “Win It in a Minute”. Once logged in, they will be asked five questions related to travel destinations and be given 12 seconds to answer each one. The top 50 scores each weekday—determined by both the correctness and speed of the answers—will win 5,000 Priority Club points.

The top 100 scores each week, calculated from each player’s daily performance, will earn 15,000 Priority reward points. The contest launched on January 24, 2011 and will run until April 15.

IHG said the game is the first online daily contest to offer reward points to loyalty club members. The game is open only to Priority Club members located in the U.S., U.K. and Canada.

The introduction of a game play promotion to its loyalty program holds the promise of attracting younger members to Priority Club, said Don Berg, vice president of loyalty programs at IHG, whose portfolio of properties includes InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn Hotels and Resorts and Holiday Inn Express among other brands.

“We’ve been thinking about gaming for quite a while,” he said. “In the hotel industry, loyalty program members tend to be in the mid-40s range, and we are constantly seeking ways to establish engagement with newer, IHG-specific questions such as how many properties they younger members, who have a great affinity for online gaming in general. At the same time, the game also appeals to our bread-and-butter members’ love of travel.”

Original document from Highbeam Business.