A fine jeweler recently complained to me that the price of gold was making sales of gold jewelry difficult (demand versus price point given as the reason) and that Platinum, though more expensive per ounce, was seeing a resurgence among his buyers. Thus, in the eyes of the consumer, there was no difference in the two metals.
We have a similar situation in the Marriott Rewards elite levels: In reality and in the perception of many the top two tiers are indistinguishable from each other, even though one requires more dedication and personal sacrifice to achieve.
Why not then make the Platinum level truly worthy of the effort? So why not make the differences in the three elite levels more pronounced and more visible?
To do this:
Why? Most associates have a hard time determining what these levels mean in reality. We've all experienced the "you're welcome here but your status does not mean much to me," attitude at check-in.
Eliminate the confusion and make the Platinum level truly outstanding and hard wired into the reservation system. No confusion at check-in. We are all much more content.
you are spot on in my opinion! Plutonium levels, or whatever, aren't going to happen, but your proposal makes sense. 100 nights vs 75 pushes the envelope a bit, and would require addtl effort on the members part, but would be well within reach of the road warriors. added benefits would be the ticket to make this happen. good idea!!!
I understand your thinking but it could result in the law of unintended consequences. We all know people who do mileage or points run at the end of the year to achieve status. Will the higher level (nearly a third of a year in a hotel room) make more people take trips away from their families? I am single, so it's not an issue for me. But for businessmen and women, I think it could happen.
I have another suggestion, which follows the Delta model for reward status. Since I stay exclusively (or almost) in Europe for research and occasionally pleasure, the prices are much higher in most places, especially when you factor in the euro. Delta's model has an either/or component -- 50,000 for gold, 75,000 miles for Platinum; 125,000 for Diamond. But they also have number of segments flown as a criterion. Since that doesn't really work for a hotel chain, what I would suggest (if SteppingStones idea is adopted) is to count either how many nights you stay or how much you pay for your stays in a year. I usually have 75 nights stayed, but only about 5 are in the US. In London, I pay the pound rate and in Europe the euro, so already high rates are that much higher -- and there is no way in the world I could pay Marriotts for 100 nights a year in Europe. I'd have to rent an apartment as I did in the past instead.
Professor and Shoeman thanks for the replies.
With regard to the things that you mentioned Professor, there are members who would be adversely affected by implementation of my suggestion. I would change my changes to allow one type (75 nights) or the other (100 nights) for current Platinum members.
Keep in mind that HH only requires 60 nights for Diamond. Raising MR Platinum to 100 might make HH look a bit better by comparison and lure some MR members away.
Alternatively, I'd rather see Silver at 25, Gold at 50, Platinum at 75, and Platinum Premier to be 100 nights or maybe more. I made 100 last year but thats an anomaly. My road warrior days are mostly behind me (until retirement!!), but I still hit 75 each year, even if I take a weekend or two that I otherwise wouldn't have.
At any rate, you road warriors do deserve special attention so I think there should still be a Plat Premier to recognize it with special perqs.
I prefer the approach to add a level than make the existing levels higher. It is a good point that Hilton starts Diamond at 60 nights and moving Platinum to 100 nights could make the program non-competitive.
When you get into the true road warrior, some people currently are Mattiott Platinum and Hilton Diamond. Once you hit Platinum or Diamond, there is no additional incentive to stay dedicated to one chain. Instead of Platinum Premier going to an arbitrary 3% of travelers, it could become a distinct level at 100 nights to encourage existing Platinum members to stay with Marriott for all of their nights.
I agree that there should be some sort of separation between the levels. I am going on my 6th year as a platinum and for this year I am already at 136 nights. I never even knew there was another level beyond platinum (it is just random to get it?)... I would love to see another step that rewards the super road warriors.
Platinum Premier is awarded by Marriott based on the top two or three percent of stayers. I've been in that group for four years now, though renewal is slightly easier to achieve, sometimes as low as 100 nights.
As for differences there aren't many, I must confess.
Good luck on making it this year.
interesting conversation. lots of opinions, naturally, all focussing on what is important to the individual replying. while each has its merit, we should all stay real and understand that Marriott is most interested in them, not us, getting the most bang for their buck. As long as Marriott is competitive with other Hoteliers, I wouldn't expect any considerable changes to the plan. Thinking of it from their point of view, i'm not at all sure what adjustments to the plan would best pay off for Marriott. An argument could possibly be made that enticing the low to mid total nite user would increase total nites more than further enticing the high nite traveler. My rationale is that someone like myself would have little opportunity to increase the number of nites I give to marriott. they are already getting most of them now. Whereas, a traveler with few nites (possibly a heavy user of a comperitors properties) would have a much larger upside potential. Does that make sense??? Finally, in my opinion, these reward programs all seem to have one thing in common, it's the points. In the end, isn't that the incentive we mainly cherish? Don't get me wrong, I'm all for getting something additional for free, and would support any add-ons we can get. Guaranteed upgrades would be on all of ours "wish" list, let's pray christmas comes early this year.
My comments are that at 75 nights which is almost 1/4 of the years night s for Mon-friday it is quite enough. Platinum members already deserve your attention to detail and suite upgrades when available and paying for parking is as abhorent as airlines charging for baggage. I am at 84 nights with 5 months to go so what do you have for the person who stays 100 plus.
75 is what you want the multitudes to strive for. For thiose that are loyal and do not venture to Hyatt,Hilton Hampton and go to all your properties to be loyal- they in turn should be rewarded with more than a thank you for being a Platinum member parking will be $36 a night for you too.