Loyalty Programs generate points for loyal members but as this article opines, sometimes guests become "point weary" and want a more tangible experience that has little to do with earning points when they check in.
Thanks for a very interesting post, Stepping! I think that the article is particularly applicable to the MR Gold and Patinum members, and it certainly mirrors some of my own feelings. I am one of those people whom the article mentions as having "literally millions of points," and the point weary idea is something that is real for me, due to the very reasons mentioned in the article. Another reality for me is the desire for something "more tangible." For example, I think of the Corporate decision which evidentially left it up to the individual properties whether or not they would provide (at least) Platinum members with breakfast coupons when the concierge lounge is closed on the weekends. Most hotels do not, and even if they do, I have learned that I have to ask to get them. Most of the time, the answer is "No." This makes me feel like a mendicant who has been turned away from the church door without alms, rather than a top level, valued guest of a loyalty program. How much confusion and ill will among its top tier members has this MR decision generated? To answer that question, all one has to do is look at the multitude of Insiders' posts on this subject.
The other thing that struck me in the article is that the hotel rewards program which is referenced in it has a guiding principle of not asking its members to master a "complex" program. Could the MR Program possibly be any more complex??? I know part of that is due to size, but it's still a valid point. As I said, this is a very interesting post.