With a Focus on Guests, These Brands Bring the Fun

NATIONAL REPORT—There’s plenty of fun to be had as the summer travel season nears and Marriott has been dubbed the most fun brand, according to the OC&C Fundex 2019.

OC&C Strategy Consulting surveyed more than 40,000 global consumers to discover what they really think of 650 of the world’s biggest hospitality and leisure brands and how they use them. The study covered eight countries: China, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Turkey, U.K., and the U.S.

Marriott is extremely well rated, and even beats more premium hotel brands such as Hilton in many areas, according to the survey. It does this by delivering on what matters most to its guests. In particular, the brand knows that service speed is vital to the guest experience, and delivers it through initiatives such as the ability to check-in and check-out via smartphone.

The survey also found that Marriott focuses on improving guest experiences through real-time social media command centers. For example, if the firm realizes via social media a guest is celebrating an anniversary or engagement, it finds ways to entertain the guest by gifting a special celebration cake or a bottle of champagne. While making all these investments in enhancing customer satisfaction, the brand does not fully sacrifice low prices, although it does not lead the industry in terms of low prices.

Runners up in the survey were Hilton and Hilton Garden Inn.

The survey asked visitors to major hospitality and leisure brands around the world what they really think of the brands they are visiting across a wide range of dimensions, including fun. We did this to pick which brands are delivering winning experiences in the eyes of their guests, and what it is about the best brands that make them guest favorites.

Evidently, delivering a great experience to guests is not straightforward; a great experience means different things to different consumers, according to the researchers. The Fundex strives to help hoteliers understand why guests rate some brands highly and others less so, picking topics such as how they define “fun,” which elements of the experience they can’t do without, and what “great service” really means in different contexts. As a result, brands can target effort and investment in the right places to deliver better results for guests.