Rebrand Hilton’s travel-based loyalty program into relevant dining rewards during COVID for China and APAC


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The Brief

Hotel loyalty programs reward people for their stay. Thanks to the pandemic, Hilton Honors loyalty program became redundant. How could Hilton revive the program and keep members engaged so that Hilton hotels stay top of their minds in the post-pandemic world?

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The Solution

Our analysis revealed that while borders were closed, avid travellers redirected their holiday spend to dining at international gourmet restaurants as if they were on vacation. And Hilton hotels around APAC housed the highest number of restaurants – from basic breakfast cafes to pizza joints to famous restaurants headed by Michelin chefs.

So we turned a mainly hotel-stay-based loyalty program into a dining loyalty program – Dine Like a Member with Hilton Honors. We also analysed dining patterns in each market and gained some unique insights that allowed us to create bespoke rewards. Malaysians love a late-night supper. In Japan, people enjoy bringing their clients for sake or beer with pizza and burgers after work. And India, people like taking their families out to hotels for celebrations.

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The Results

  • A successful hyper-targeted campaign using only stock photography for all APAC markets, including China
  • First hotel loyalty program to successfully pivot and focus on dining, turning Hilton hotels into the best dining destination in many APAC markets
  • An awareness campaign for travellers that quickly turned into an acquisition drive targeting an unexpected group of “members” – gourmands and foodies