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Sunday 20 January 2019

Welcome to Bonvoy; a brand name chosen by committee

Chosing a brand name can be fraught with danger. 

Often, decision by committee ends up with a name that is different but no one can remember. What is a Tiguan, for instance? 

Or the name chosen turns out to be rude in another language. Remember the Mazda Laputa anyone? Or the Iranian detergent Barf. 

Marriott Hotels has just come with a new name for its new loyalty brand, replacing current loyalty brands Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest. 
It's a doozy: Bonvoy. Short, no doubt for bon voyage. But clunky and hard to remember. Certainly more difficult to recall than Rewards. The logo, too, is pretty terrible. 

The press release says: "Marriott Bonvoy is built on the belief that travel enriches us all and has the power to enrich the world. 

"Marriott Bonvoy launches on February 13 when the logo and branding begins rolling out across all consumer touch-points, including on property, marketing and sales channels, digital, mobile and co-brand credit cards bolstered by a multi-million-dollar global media campaign starting in late February."

So they are spending millions to switch from Rewards to Bonvoy. So glad I am not a shareholder. Social media response has been largely negative, with one person Tweeting: " I would think this is an April Fool's joke except it isn't April 1."  
“Marriott Bonvoy marks an evolution in travel because it represents more than a loyalty program,” said Stephanie Linnartz, Global Chief Commercial Officer, Marriott International. 
“Marriott Bonvoy is a travel program designed to bring to life our extraordinary portfolio of global brands in 129 countries and territories, while also providing endless inspiration for members to keep traveling and pursuing their passions.”
Linnartz added: “Represented by a simple, bold and modern logo, Marriott Bonvoy is welcoming and optimistic."  Hmm. Not convinced Stephanie. The French say "bon voyage" when people are leaving on a journey, not arriving at a hotel. 
The launch of Marriott Bonvoy will introduce two new names for previous elite status tier names: 
Marriott Bonvoy Titanium Elite (sounds like a nasty hospital treatment) and Marriott Bonvoy Ambassador Elite (definitely another name selected by a particularly inept committee).
So welcome to Bonvoy (which sounds to me like a name a bogan couple would give to their unexpected child). 
PS: Tiguan is a combination of the German words for tiger and iguana. 

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