The World of Hyatt loyalty program was launched in March 2017, a revamp of the much-beloved Hyatt Gold Passport. The redesign aimed to inspire empathy and deliver meaningful benefits, making it easier to earn free nights and providing important benefits for top-tier members.
Compared to other hotel chains, Hyatt has a smaller portfolio of 750 hotels and about 70,000 rooms, with almost 6% of its hotels falling in the Luxury Properties category. Some long-term travellers were also resistant to the change. But for 2017, Hyatt reported strong sales growth, with a revenue of $1.2 billion.
How did Hyatt get to the top? In part, through its loyalty program that keeps loyal customers coming back for more.
1. Pursuing the Right Audience for New Loyalty Members
To grow its program, Hyatt needed to add new members to its existing base.
Hyatt turned to Visa and Oracle Data Cloud to go after customers who frequently bought tickets to airplanes, cruises, theme parks – behaviour that identified them as needing a hotel as well.
It then reached out to this customer base through social media ads and display advertisements, which promoted exclusive discounts and benefits for booking direct.
2. Offering Generous Membership Benefits at All Tiers
While a lot of companies have loyalty programs, Hyatt stands out because of its great membership benefits which has three elite tiers: Globalist, Explorist, and Discoverist.
Discoverist status is one of the lowest tiers, earned after 10 nights or 25,000 base points ($5,000 in spending). But check out the benefits even at this tier:
- Upgrades to preferred rooms
- Complimentary premium internet
- Late checkout
- Elite reservation phone lines.
There is also a Pearl status with M life Rewards, which provides benefits when staying at M life properties such as buffet line passes and complimentary self-parking.
Hyatt also launched an exclusive discount for its loyalty program members. This rewards guests with an up-to-10-percent discount for bookings made via Hyatt.com or the Hyatt mobile app.
With such generous rewards at one of their lowest tiers, just imagine the benefits they offer at higher tiers.
3. Crafting a Message Aligned with Customers’ Values
Hyatt launched the “For a World of Understanding” campaign. The ads were set to the song “What the World Needs Is Love” and it featured travelers connecting with other people from around the world.
In one instance, a blonde woman felt suspicious of another female wearing a hijab, but later smiled in gratitude when the latter picked up an item she dropped.
In line with the ad, the brand also encouraged employees to wear Snap Spectacles that enabled them to record how they saw the world, and share it through social media and other channels.
These efforts highlighted the brand’s emphasis on creating campaigns that promote values like empathy, caring, understanding, inclusiveness and authenticity. This overall theme was the backbone of the “World of Hyatt” campaign which proved how small gestures could have a big impact.
4. Telling Customer Stories with User-Generated Content
In the secluded shores of Banana Bay, Park Hyatt St. Kitts is the ultimate luxury amidst turquoise waters. Discover how you can save up to 15% off as a World of Hyatt member here: pic.twitter.com/G0a8F7QEFE
— Hyatt (@Hyatt) June 10, 2018
Hyatt’s social media feed is more authentic than most, because some of their posts are created by their customers rather than relying on staged photoshoots.
By posting user-generated content and sponsored posts, Hyatt is able to showcase the benefits and positive experiences of its customers.
Some Lessons from the Word of Hyatt Loyalty Program
Here’s what we’ve learned from Hyatt’s success in building a loyalty program:
- Proactively pursue your customer base
- Be generous with membership/loyalty rewards
- Crafting a message that resonates
- Using customer empathy in marketing