According to the first quarter 2004 Hospitality Index from Market Metrix, Staybridge Suites, Jet Blue Airways and Enterprise Rent-A-Car ranked number one in hotel, airline and rental car industry customer satisfaction respectively.
While this is the first time for Staybridge in the top spot and the first time an extended-stay brand has been the overall customer satisfaction winner, Jet Blue and Enterprise have both won six out of the past seven quarters in their industry categories.
The Market Metrix Hospitality Index (MMHI) uses several proprietary measures of customer satisfaction, including 'loyalty emotions' that correlate specific emotions that a hotel creates in a guest with how those emotions affect the guest's satisfaction. Hospitality companies that provide certain specific loyalty emotions usually earn higher satisfaction rates and can increase their prices with fewer defections. Women are more responsive to the primary emotions (comfortable, relaxed, content, secure and welcome) while the secondary emotions (pampered, entertained, inspired, important, extravagant, elegant, sophisticated and hip or cool) appear to have a bigger impact on men.
"The data suggests that hotel offerings and advertising could be developed to focus on select and different emotional themes for women and men," said Jonathan Barsky Ph.D., Market Metrix co-founder. "The results of our analysis showed such a significant difference between men and women that one of our team suggested the idea of separate brands targeting each gender, in the same way Mustang focuses on men and the VW Cabriolets are targeted at women."
Whether inadvertently or not, this may already be happening for some hotel brands. Indeed, hotels whose brand images reflect the secondary emotions are drawing significantly more men - for example, W Hotels (15% more males than the industry mean), Bellagio (16%), Le Meridien (18%), Intercontinental (19%) and Ian Schrager (21%). These brands are all in the top ten in terms of the percentage of male guests.
The MMHI is a quarterly report based on 35,000 consumer interviews. Detailed, in-depth and even customised reports are available for subscribers to the service. The index lists 135 hotel brands, 25 airlines and 11 car rental companies.