Many marketers are looking to create the next viral video and innovative ad campaign of their industry. What they sometimes sacrifice while pursuing that goal are the personal interactions that resonate most with their customers. While these marketers strategize and plan their next big marketing wins, they miss out on the opportunity to find and leverage their everyday brand influencers.
If you’re looking to build tried-and-true brand affinity, look no further than Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants, a notoriously customer-delighting company—and it’s not just because of its state of the art accommodations.
Here’s what marketers can learn from the hotel brand in order to increase customer loyalty:
1. Stay up to Date on Trends
Kimpton’s #AdoreThySelfie campaign offered guests selfie sticks during their stay and a chance to win a $150 Kimpton gift card. Customers were told to take a photo with their selfie stick and upload it to Twitter with the hashtag #AdoreThySelfie. The grand prize was a two-night stay at the Kimpton of their choice. In 2014, the selfie was just the latest viral vehicle to market to millennials and to drive brand engagement online—Kimpton jumped on the trend and came out with a whole new set of brand advocates.
2. Prioritize Personal Interactions
Kimpton’s social team knocks it out of the park when it comes to interacting directly with customers. With over 10.9k followers on Instagram, 79k followers on Facebook and 43k on Twitter– managing its online relationships is no small task. But time and time again, Kimpton’s team makes it a point to respond to every single comment directed at them on social media. When customers see a brand genuinely listening to their customers and engaging with real people, it helps to humanize and validate the brand’s online presence.
3. Expand your Travel Rewards Program
For many in the travel industry, loyalty programs have become a core piece of the travel business model. Kimpton has taken strides to evolve the travel rewards program. It replaced the points-based model with an individualized algorithm—calculating a member’s score and loyalty based on number of stays, social engagement, and attendance at Kimpton sponsored events. The new loyalty program, Karma Rewards, brings a personal touch to an outdated rewards system.
Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants is a great example of a travel brand that places emphasis on its customer experience by going above and beyond in a way that shows genuine attentiveness and inspires advocacy. Adopting this customer centric take will help marketers from all industries build long-lasting relationships with their customers and build greater brand loyalty.