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Will the Trump Card deliver on its Promise?

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Will the Trump Card deliver on its Promise?
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Having noticed last week that Starwood was adopting “State Aware” mobile technology to delight members of its Starwood Preferred Guest program with new benefits, I was wondering where else big hoteliers could go to differentiate in a crowded loyalty market.

Then I saw the announcement by the Trump Hotel Collection of its Trump Card, a guest privileges program for the privileged traveler. I know you’re not supposed to use the same word twice in one paragraph, but how else can you describe it?

Reported by Elite Traveler, the “private jet lifestyle” magazine, Trump Card offers the ultimate in personalized experiential benefits to its members, allowing them to “Live the Life”. By inviting members to create an online profile of their personal experiences, Trump enables a highly tailored guest experience that makes staying with the chain an unforgettable experience. Presumably, the difference is so compelling that a member would not elect to stay at any other hotel, given a choice.

While we admire any brand that diligently collects preference information from its members and puts it to use to delight the customer and create insurmountable loyalty, much of the benefits described in the program announcement are “de riguer” for the industry. Being able to designate a pillow type, brand of water in room, or room temperature has been offered by Marriott and others to members of its rewards program – even those who are not titans of industry, just executive road warriors.

The potential difference in Trump’s program from others which have offered personalized benefits before is summed in one word – execution.

I would hope every loyalty program operator would take time to gather personal preferences of its members. Most do.

The difference, as I said, is how these same brands execute on what they learn about their members. Too many surveys have been taken without action being triggered to show members they were listening.

If Trump executes well, and it will have to in order to satisfy this demanding crowd, it will unlock a door to long term customer loyalty. If they just announce the program and don’t follow through, they will wish they had simply offered triple points to their best members and skipped the rest.

Don’t get me wrong. Trump has the right idea, but many others have as well. The key is to follow through – to execute well – and make the promise a reality to their best customers.

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