The influence of loyalty programs on brand performance of five star hotels in Nairobi, Kenya
This paper examines the influence of loyalty programs on brand performance among five star hotels in Nairobi. The results indicate that loyalty programs are not popular among lower various sectors in the hotel industry in Kenya especially to non-chain property hotels. With competition as a result of growing middle income group where by many hotels are opening or expanding into the region. This includes chains of hotels as well as local hotel properties that are targeting either the same business or leisure customers internationally and locally. The challenge created by this growth has led more to the issue of retaining customers rather than acquiring them which is the purpose of loyalty programs. The study used primary data and a sample of ten five star hotels; data was collected through questionnaires. The study established that hotels have chains with less than 500 rooms and ten Food and Beverage outlets with enrollment charges and give loyalties in discounts, points and target offers. The study established that of the three variables used to measure the loyalty programs points and rewards was the most rated with 0.569 while prestige and exclusivity was the least rated at 0.298. Four variables were used to measure the brand performance with brand awareness at 0.357 which was the lowest and brand association being the highest at 0.983. Overall prestige and exclusivity was the least favored by customers and is not a major concern for customer loyalty programs. A brand association was the highly rated of the seven variables which measures associations triggered by the brand. The members guest reaction on the loyalty programs where extremely satisfied, or satisfied, others indicated that thme program need improvements and other didn’t indicate there reaction on the programs. The study concludes that brand level depends on the age of the customer, customer value and preference and customer loyalty which are premium, regular programs. Brand performance metrics-brand loyalty established that brand loyalty helps in reducing marketing costs and brand awareness, depending on strength brings about familiarity and likeness of the brand by customers. The study recommends that hotels should not rely on Loyalty Managers and Marketing managers in loyalty programs. The study recommends that all members of the staff should be included in programs to improve its effectiveness in the brand performance. Also the customers who create business for the hotels are in a better position to market the brand and therefore reducing marketing costs, whereby this is showed by their satisfaction with services offered. The hotel brands should be unique in their product offering and could be well kept by having chains which in turn provides a broad selection and motivate their customers by touching on those areas to improve on growth and customer loyalty.
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