There’s something about brand loyalty – it gets in your veins – the very DNA of how luxury consumers consume. And when you find out one of your beloved brands is going to be absorbed by a larger in the industry? Talk about a gut punch.
“Somewhere between their Westin Heavenly Beds and the room’s rainfall shower system, Starwood hotel loyalists were struck Monday morning by a new reality: their beloved loyalty program would soon be gobbled up by Marriott’s less-generous reward system.” – via NewsObserver.com
My other half texted me a link to the story as it broke this morning, knowing good and well that I would simply scrunch up my nose in disgust. I would love to think that the Starwoods identify might be preserved in this merger, but luxury travelers will have to wait to see what happens in the years after the deal’s expected closing in mid-2016. Luckily, this industry tends to move slowly, so it could be years before we see any real changes to the SPG treatment we Starwoods faithfuls have grown to love.