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Do Corporate Travelers Care About Brand Loyalty?

Brand loyalty influences so much of our day to day. From the coffee we drink to the computer we work on, loyalty runs deep. A new study from Lola.com reveals how brand loyalty impacts corporate travel preferences and policies. Read on for the findings and what companies can do to tailor their travel programs to meet travelers’ needs.

Brand loyalty has always been important to businesses, but recently it’s taken on even greater significance.

And how can it not?

With so many options out there, consumers would be overwhelmed by making even the smallest decisions if there were not brands to ensure a company's quality and hold them accountable.

Over time we begin to consume more from that brand and build a relationship with the company. That loyalty matters a lot. So much so that you could likely pick from the following companies in a matter of seconds:

Streaming:

Netflix or Hulu?

Personal Computer:

Mac or Dell?

Coffee:

Starbucks or Dunkin?

When it comes to corporate travel, brand loyalty is no different. Travelers have strong preferences about what airlines they fly and what hotels they stay at.

How do we know this? Recently Lola.com completed a survey of 630 frequent business travelers and dug deep into what really matters to them when they are on the road. The answers to our questions were wide-ranging, but after compiling the data, one thing was clear: Loyalty matters when it comes to corporate travel.

Here’s what we learned:

Points matter.

The number one reason that business travelers want to stick with one brand is simple: Airlines and hotel chains reward the loyal travelers! When you step back and look at how often business travelers are on the go, the top 10% of business travelers spend on average 88 days on the road in hotels every year. Between the constant back and forth, those frequent traveler miles and reward points can rack up quickly.

While we were surveying corporate travelers, we found that 85% of travelers agreed that earning points they can use for personal trips is important and 84% consider it a perk of business travel.

But it’s not even just a perk. These travelers referred to these points as a major contributor to satisfaction while on the road. In fact, 61% of those travelers said that if they could not accrue points for personal use, their overall satisfaction traveling for work would go down

Keeping this in mind can help managers rack up an easy win by allowing their employees to book with their preferred airlines and allow them to retain the points that they earn when traveling for business.

Building this into their travel policy is a easy and effective way to make travel a privilege and not a burden for travelers.

What about status?

When searching for a way to keep travelers loyal, points are a major reward to corporate traveler.

But what about things like status and upgrades from airlines and hotel chains?

Surprisingly, our research points out that while being able to retain these points for personal use is important, few care about upgrades.

Here are our findings broken down by category:

Airlines - 37% said airline status is important to them

Car Rentals - 36% said car rental status is important to them

Hotels - 50% said hotel status is important

Despite the importance of brand loyalty when it comes to traveling, brand status and traveling first-class are simply not top priorities for business travelers.

People constantly chose their airline or hotel chain based on their reward status when traveling for personal pleasure.

By giving your employees the flexibility to stay loyal and book with their prefered company, you’ll begin turning corporate travel into a privilege and keep them happy on the road and during their time off!

The Bottom Line

Lola.com’s recent study makes one thing abundantly clear: loyalty matters to corporate travelers, but not necessarily in the straightforward sense you might expect. Frequent business travelers care somewhat about loyalty to specific airline and hotel brands, but they are very concerned with retaining loyalty points.

Posted by

Connor Gross