Received this article today from Loyalty Lobby entitled:
Here's the link:
Major difference in how SPG members feel vs MR members - case in point
Marriott Rewards Elite members overwhelmingly want the new program to still be Marriott Rewards (68%) as opposed to Starwood Preferred Guest (17%).
Starwood Preferred Guest Elite members are more open to the program taking on the form of either Marriott Rewards (45%) or Starwood Preferred Guest (41%).
Discuss amongst yourselves (as a famous host of "Coffee Talk" once said)...
Thank you, dansplan for the link to that interesting article. I can understand why the SPG Platinum members are most concerned - it takes, if memory serves, 25 fewer nights per year to earn that level with SPG than it does with Marriott. They may be concerned that they won't get their Platinum benefits any longer. On the other hand, as a Marriott Lifetime Platinum, I'm concerned that the SPG Platinum members, who, under Marriott Rewards, would be Gold, may be upgraded. If that's the case, I can anticipate that Marriott Gold members, will be upset and also want Platinum. Also, in regard to lifetime status in Marriott Rewards, will Marriott say that stays in SPG properties prior to the merger will count toward the lifetime Marriott Rewards nights stayed requirements?
Fortunately, this issue is "above my pay grade" as they say. I'm sure that Marriott is aware of these issues. Frankly, I think that the best solution is to automatically send every Marriott Rewards member an SPG rewards card, and every SPG member a Marriott Rewards card. We all have membership in both, but, in effect, start fresh with the chain we haven't been using in the past. I don't really see myself staying at many Sheraton's or other SPG properties, so it's sort of academic for me.
Integration of companies is never easy for the customer (especially if loyal to a specific "brand"). I have been extremely loyal to Marriott the past 5 years always staying at a Marriott property (it helps that the company I work for has Marriott as the preferred hotel). Based upon the amount of money Marriott is spending on this acquisition, they will try to protect (maintain) as many SPG members as possible. Marriott will need to determine what percent of SPG members will "walk" if they perceive their incentive to be loyal will be reduced from their current experience.
I am very intrigued in how Marriott will handle the SPG conversion while also not forgetting their current loyal Marriott customers.... Certainly pleasing everyone will be impossible - but losing a large percent of loyal members could be a disaster. I think the integration will go very slow until they can figure out a program that will please the vast majority of current SPG and Marriott members. I know, stating the obvious, but some companies have figured out the "sweet spot" with integrating 2 companies into one... here's to hoping the folks at Marriott get it "right".....