Monday, June 15, 2009

Hyatt Needs Lessons in Maintaining Its Brand Image

John Wallis, Hyatt's head of global marketing, has announced a massive global marketing effort. They want to build the brand to overcome the effects of the recession. Hyatt has even opened a Twitter account so people can use Twitter to arrange concierge services. But that isn't going to do much when Hyatt's loyalty cross promotions and customer service cheapen the Hyatt brand image.

Our family signed up for a promotion to stay in a Hyatt Resort or Hotel anywhere in the world, via a credit card reward program. After spending thousands of dollars on our card and receiving our promotional certificates, we tried to book Hyatt stays in four different cities, only to be told our certificates were no good. When we complained to customer service, we got back a letter filled with grammatical mistakes and sentences that were non sequiturs. Hyatt’s letter explained their way out of honoring our certificates through technicalities. The certificates are the lowest-level, redeemable in places such as airport locations and frequently visited spots like Uzbekistan. This is no way to build trial or loyalty. In recent travels, we drove past the two of Hyatts where our certificates were not welcome, and we just shook our heads.

Our image of Hyatt has been truly damaged. We feel disappointed and cheated. Mr. Wallis needs to look into how Hyatt runs promotions and customer service, if he wants to build his brand.
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