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Might Fairmont Get Rid Of Its President's Club Program?

July 30, 2014 at 10:39 AM | by | ()

A strange email popped into our (personal) inbox the other week. The sender called itself “Hotel Naming Study”, and it purported to be from polling company YouGov, on behalf of Fairmont Hotels. “With your input they can continue offering unique experiences designed around your travel needs,” it said. Spam or real? We clicked.

We are interested in your opinions on potential names that have been created for a new program,” it said. “On the following seven screens, you will see a total of seven names. Please use a few lines to describe what associations come to mind.”

What excitement! What new program, and what new names? We could hardly wait. Until we clicked through. The seven names under consideration were:

· Foray Rewards (casinoey)
· Anue Rewards (kind of obscene)
· Journ Rewards (is this a massive journalist troll?)
· Otro Rewards (are we in Spain?)
· Fluent Rewards (did they really pay someone to come up with these?)
· Accru Rewards (better, but gas stationy, not posh hotelly)

We were then asked how well each of these names conveyed “certain words or ideas” regarding hotel loyalty programs. Would Foray Rewards feel “fresh and new”? Would Anue Rewards “surprise and delight” us? Would Journ Rewards create “emotionally engaging moments?” Is Otro Rewards a good name for a luxury loyalty program? The answer to the last one was no, on all counts. What’s wrong with good old President’s Club?

The hideous consultation process that brands go through to reinvent themselves aside, what struck us was how heinous all those names were. Could they really be thinking of replacing President’s Club (which we were asked to compare these names with)?

Thank whichever deity you believe in, it seems the answer is no. At least for now. Fairmont confirmed the survey was genuine – it was sent to “a cross section of members and non-members” – but that:

No changes are imminent and the Fairmont President’s Club program remains in effect. As a leading luxury hotel brand, FRHI works hard at ensuring that guests always receive the best possible experience. As such, FRHI regularly evaluates many aspects of our operations and brand to meet and exceed its guests’ expectations.

Not quite enough to settle our worries (especially if it has anything to do with those merger rumors), but let’s hope that the feedback was overwhelmingly negative and they stick with President’s Club. Frankly, checking into Monte Carlo with our “Anue Rewards” number seems like a bit of a downgrade, darlings.

Like President’s Club as a name? Loathe it? Prefer Otro Rewards or Journ Rewards? Sound off in comments below!

[Screenshot: Julia Buckley for HotelChatter]

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