Transformational loyalty: Sonesta's Travel Pass program reimagined for growth
Amid a pandemic that crippled the travel and hospitality industries, Sonesta defied the odds and rapidly expanded, growing from 60 to nearly 1,500 hotel properties in the U.S. Challenges and triumphs accompanied this journey, requiring a rebrand, technology overhaul, and the right partners to create a culture that was uniquely Sonesta. This all started with the foundational need to integrate disparate data sources to better understand guests and create experiences that align with their evolving expectations.
Key to Sonesta’s success was choosing a partner that offered a robust loyalty platform solution to support their continued growth. Deep strategy and analytics expertise were also critical to reimagine a foundationally sound program design and provide the return on investment to fund additional unique program elements. These key efforts work to entice and retain franchisees by demonstrating the value of the loyalty program.
Sonesta chose ICF Next and the Tally platform for this critical transformation. Our deep understanding of the hospitality industry, comprehensive loyalty program design methodology, advanced fraud prevention modeling, self-service and automation capabilities, proprietary Economic Modeling Toolkit to ensure program ROI, and history of successful enterprise platform migrations to our award-winning Tally loyalty solution were key factors in their decision and instrumental to success.
Following an initial tech assessment and robust stakeholder interview process to uncover needs, requirements, and MarTech stack gaps, our well-informed and meticulous migration process was fast and flawless. We worked in close collaboration with internal teams, carefully navigating the ins and outs of migrating legacy in-house hotel platform data to Tally, leveraging our vast experience and proven best practices. Our deep expertise in co-brand partnerships with top global banks was also a key factor driving success. Tally's versatility to integrate with a wide range of loyalty program partners enabled Sonesta to optimize overall Travel Pass utility, value, and point earn/burn options for members.
With an elevated program design and best-in-class technology as a foundation, Sonesta’s Travel Pass program now boasts more personalized and engaging experiences that attract new members and strengthen engagement with current members—deepening emotional connections and cultivating greater loyalty. This pivotal program redesign and platform migration supports Sonesta’s aggressive growth strategy, providing the much-needed infrastructure for scale.
Our deep expertise in loyalty and the hospitality industry supports the continued transformation of the brand and helps them leverage data-driven insights to create customer experiences that better align with the needs and expectations of today’s travelers.
Automation of previously manual processes like points redemption allows Sonesta’s marketing team to shift their focus to more strategic initiatives, drive higher ROI and increase guest satisfaction. With Tally, Sonesta can now execute unlimited, intricately designed and orchestrated promotions concurrently.
The Sonesta Travel Pass loyalty program became the connective strategy that ties together a much larger and more diverse hotel portfolio and paves the way for continued transformation and growth.