Marriott International has been on the warpath lately, working tirelessly to refresh and reinvent their brand.
First, there was the full-scale assault of Marriott Hotels' Travel Brilliantly, which offered up a new streamlined logo and a slate of tech-forward features appealing to the changing requirements of today's traveler. There was also some catch up play, as Marriott had lost intellectual and technological ground to more forward-looking hotel brands.
Now the company has released another addition to the redefined Marriott experience, while also attempting an additional touch point in the travel lifecycle.
Tripographer is a platform for travelers - and not just guests - to upload and stylize photos, create slideshows and build a tour of a trip for sharing with friends and family.
The tool is straightforward, and also allows users to narrate their trips before sharing them on social media. There's sizable competition from more robust multimedia sharing tools, such as Meograph, in addition to those created by other communities with large followings, such as TripAdvisor.
With recent integrations such as Mapquest's Everlater, many larger brands are seeking ways to extend interactions across the travel lifecycle.
Starwood has worked tirelessly to build long-term engagement with loyalists, and other hotel brands are seeking the means to increase social sharing, and keep that longer term top-of-mind status that's valuable in the extended purchase cycles of travel.
All that being said, Marriott should, like all hotel brands, focus relentlessly on giving guests an experience worth sharing - the documentation will then follow on its own across the guests' preferred platforms. Brands can't force consumers to share - even if there's a nice platform on which to do so.
A continued technological push must be match equally with a service standard that meets and exceeds guest expectations - examples abound of how that translates into plenty of organic social media sharing.