Your Brand Promise – Marriott Courtyard

I’ve been a big fan of Marriott for many years as I stay over 75 nights a year with them, they look after me well. But for one thing……
Courtyard’s push for the last few years has been on free high speed Internet access. The TV ads in the US feature it, full page ads feature it and, most frustrating of all, I used to see it all the time on American Airlines on my flight to the UK. You know the ad, it’s the one where the guy rushes in, connects and then has a video call to say goodnight to the kids. Quite well done I thought. Clear and compelling value proposition. Just what we, as marketing professionals, strive for.
So I land in the UK (I tend to be there quite a few times a year), and up to about a year ago, you simply didn’t get ANY Internet access at a Courtyard. Then it started, slowly, to change. The Courtyard at Reading had high speed wireless in the reception area. For the modest fee of about $30 PER HOUR. You got to pay a high fee for 15 minutes, then so much per minute (I’ve blanked the detail from my mind,it was so iniquitous!!), but it worked out to about $30 per hour.
So now there is wired (who does wired stuff anymore?) in every room, at #15 (almost $30) per day.
What happened to that brand promise? The reason I buy a brand is because I know what to expect. Except not the Courtyard brand promise – not in the UK anyway….

A chance missed Marriott!