Karin Timpone, Marriott’s global marketing officer, discussed this subject during a session at the Incite Group’s 2019 Brand Marketing Summit in San Francisco.
And she outlined how Marriott Bonvoy, a loyalty and rewards initiative that brought together programs from its Marriott, Starwood and Ritz-Carlton brands, had clear goals upon launching earlier this year.
“The business reason was really around very much focusing on the most loyal guests, super-serving [them], and making that offering really robust, not just for the hotel stay, but for all the points that they could gain,” Timpone said. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: Marriott reinvents customer loyalty marketing with Bonvoy.)
In fact, Marriott International has 30 brands, from lower-cost options such as Fairfield Inn & Suites to luxury lodgings like W Hotels. Globally, the company operates more than 7,000 properties in 131 countries.
With Bonvoy, Timpone offered, loyalty benefits can grow “through stays or our credit card or what-have-you” and then be exchanged for various experiences.
A new program – and a new brand within a company in evolution – demanded a fresh name, ideally something that resonated with the romance of travel.
“We went through several different considerations,” Timpone said. “We decided early on, no matter what, that we were going to have the name ‘Marriott’ on it. There’s so much equity in that.
“But we also wanted to signal the direction of something new. We’re the largest luxury-hotel portfolio in the world, so we wanted something that was going to work as easily with a Moxy Brand or a Courtyard” – two mid-priced options – “all the way through to a Ritz-Carlton or an Edition Luxury Collection.”
A twist on the French term “bon voyage” – which can be roughly translated as “have a good trip” – neatly captured this essence for Bonvoy.
The service was launched using a multi-market campaign spanning TV, outdoor, online video, social media, print and cinema.
“We are looking at the awareness of the name and we have exceeded our metric, not just with our own members, where we have our own channels to do that, but with non-members,” said Timpone. “And that is a really important metric for us to launch our larger travel aspirations.”
Sourced from WARC