|Industry||Hotel Management & Hospitality|
|Headquarters||Bethesda, Maryland, United States|
|Revenue||$10,571 million (2020)|
|Profit||-$267 million (2020)|
|Competitors||Hyatt, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Hilton, Carlson and Wyndham Worldwide Corp|
Headquartered in Maryland, United States, Marriott International is a franchise that offers residential, hoteling, and accommodation services. The franchise functions through the following sectors; Asia Pacific, North American Full-Service, North American Limited-Service, and Other International. The North American Full-Service sector handles the luxurious side of the company in the U.S and Canada. The Asia Pacific sector handles the brand’s decks located in the Asia Pacific. Lastly, the properties of Marriott located in Europe, the Middle East, the Caribbean, Latin America, and Africa are managed by the Other International sector. The company has been ranked on the 71st position of the World’s Best Employers in 2021 (Forbes, 2021).
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Marriott Strengths 2021:
- Successful Partnerships:
All the companies Marriott has alliances with are quite successful and profitable. They turn out to be exceptionally popular amongst the public. The recent alliance of Marriott with Alibaba is a strategic move by the company. This partnership allows customers to pay for their stays using Alipay and helps them book directly at more affordable prices (Schaal, 2019). Partnerships and joint ventures like these allow the franchise to expand further in terms of target audience and even undercut the competition.
- Customer Loyalty Programs:
The company has launched a number of ways to keep customers retained and offer them benefits for choosing Marriot repeatedly. For example,Marriot Bonvoy is a loyalty program recently launched by Marriott. This tracks customer loyalty and offers incentives depending on the nights the customers have stayed in hotels owned by Marriott. For instance, if a customer stays in the silver elite room using Marriott Bonvoy for 10-24 days, he/she will get the benefits of late checkout, member rates, enhanced internet, etc. The benefits get better as the number of days or the quality of your stay increases (Marriott Bonvoy, 2021). This ensures customer loyalty and will keep customers coming back for more stays.
- Diverse Workforce:
A huge strength of Marriott which has greatly impacted its reputation is the diversity it displays in its workforce and partnerships. The franchise managed to earn the top rank in diversity amongst 50 other companies in DiversityIncs’ list and 3rd rank in philanthropy in Top Company’s list. Marriott is known for having a diversified and inclusive workforce, for which it has also earned multiple awards (Marriott, 2020).
Marriott Weaknesses 2021:
- Negative Image Due to Hurricane Irma:
During the tragic incident of hurricane Irma, Marriott earned a negative reputation for itself. The company sent a large boat to St. Thomas Island (one of the islands’ affected by the storm) to rescue the people affected by hurricane Irma. However, the only people allowed on the boat were the customers of Marriott (Stone, 2017). This was regarded as insensitive and cruel by the public and built a negative image of Marriott in people’s minds.
- Low Data Security:
Marriott has failed to protect its customers’ data multiple times in the past, the most recent one being in 2018. This was when hackers hijacked the database of the Starwood Hotels group compromising the data of approximately 339 million guests. The hackers had access to their personal information, including passport numbers, email addresses, phone numbers, etc. Due to this incident, Marriott was penalized for paying a fine of 18.4 million Euros (Tidy, 2020).
- Over strictness for Employees:
Marriot’s rules and regulations for employees are considered strict, making the company rank at 71st position in the world’s best employer list.This incident occurred in the year 2018 when Roy Jones, an employee of Marriott’s customer engagement center in Nebraska, was fired. He was fired for liking a tweet that was offensive to the Chinese government (Dorsey, 2018). Having rules & regulations in the workplace is very important for a business. However, making it extremely difficult and suffocating in the workplace is ill-advised. It impacts the performance of employees by bringing down productivity and efficiency.
Marriott Opportunities 2021:
- Shifting Demographics:
As of now, the hotels and accommodation facilities of the company targets businessmen or adults in their old age (Leonhardt, 2019). However, a growing population of young adults and students who like to travel at affordable prices. Hence Marriott should shift its target audience to the young generation as they are the youth who will use these hotels in the future years. The company should appeal to the young generation by offering an informal lifestyle and also changing up the décor and interior design. Marriott could also make generous donations to environment-related non-profit organizations in order to increase its popularity and induce a positive image of Marriott in the minds of the youth.
- Customer Satisfaction:
Marriot has hit an all-time low in its customer satisfaction index as of 2021. The company’s satisfaction index dropped to 76, its lowest score in the last 13 years (Lock, 2021). By offering more incentives or greater deals to its customers, the company may be able to regain its high customer satisfaction scores.
Marriott Threats 2021:
Marriott gets most of its competition from the Hilton and Four Seasons. Their market share poses a great threat to Marriott. Other than that, there is also the threat of new entrants in this industry. New entrants could gain popularity by offering luxurious experiences at even lower prices. This could lower the reputation of Marriott or even dissolve the franchise.
- Terrorist Attacks:
Marriott is highly vulnerable to terrorist attacks as its guests include celebrities, foreign delegates, politicians and other important people. Such places and people are targeted by terrorists making this an extremely risky clientele base for Marriott.
- Economic recession:
Due to the pandemic, there has been a huge economic recession. This has been quite harmful to Marriott’s brand reputation as it has dropped more than 50% in brand value to $2.4 billion. The company has lost its 2nd rank in brand value and has now come down three steps to 5th. The competitor of Marriot, Hilton hotel, suffered the least decline in sales and brand value during this period (Hospitality Net, 2021). Coming back from such a hit is quite difficult for Marriott, and since the pandemic is still going on, it poses a threat of further decline in brand value.
Marriott SWOT Analysis Conclusion:
Concluding, it can clearly be said that Marriott has managed to remain one of the top players in the hotel management & hospitality industry. The way Marriott has achieved this is by focusing on its customers and workforce. However, Marriott has gained a bad reputation among the public in recent years because of data breaches and the hurricane Irma incident. The way the company can reduce the effects of these weaknesses is by capitalizing on its opportunities. Using techniques to improve customer satisfaction and shifting demographics may help create a better image for Marriott and even minimize its threats.
- Dorsey, B. (2018). Marriott Employee Fired After Liking Tweet That Offended Chinese Government. The Points Guy.
- Forbes. (2021). Marriott International (MAR). Forbes.
- Hospitality Net. (2021). World’s Top Hotel Brands Lose Nearly $23 Billion in Brand Value. Hospitality Net.
- Leonhardt, M. (2019). Millennials are making travel a priority more than previous generations—that’s not a bad thing. CNBC.
- Lock, S. (2021). American Customer Satisfaction Index scores for Marriott hotels in the United States from 2008 to 2021. Statista.
- Marriott Bonvoy. (2021). How to Enjoy More Benefits. Marriott Bonvoy.
- Marriott. (2020). Marriott International Ranks #1 On Diversity Inc Top 50 List. Marriott.
- Schaal, D. (2019). Marriott’s Alibaba Joint Venture in China Is Part of Its Direct-Booking Strategy. Skift.
- Stone, M. (2017). Marriott sent a boat to rescue guests trapped on St. Thomas, but had to leave many other tourists stranded. Business Insider.
- Tidy, J. (2020). Marriott Hotels fined £18.4m for data breach that hit millions. BBC News.