January 21, 2016

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Shortlisted in the 2016 Global Mobile Awards

We’d like to congratulate our friends at Starwood Hotels & Resorts.  The SPG app has been shortlisted as a nominee in the 2016 GSMA’s Global Mobile Awards in the Best Use of Mobile for Travel, Leisure, and Hospitality category. The Global Mobile Awards is the mobile industry’s longest established award platform for innovation, excellence, and achievement and showcases the ever-growing value that mobility brings to users, industries, businesses, communities, and economies.

"Congratulations to all of the nominees for the 2016 Glomo Awards,” said Michael O’Hara, Chief Marketing Officer, GSMA. “With more than 930 entries this year – a new record – the competition is greater than ever, reflecting the tremendous diversity and pace of innovation across the mobile world.”

Other nominees in this category include:

  • Ericsson & Falun2015 for Digital Experience Partner
  • Monitise Create for Hub by Premier Inn
  • SapientNitro for Lufthansa Apple Watch App
  • Vodafone for Onboard Services from eGate

To view the full list of nominees, please visit the Global Mobile Award website.

Selected winners to be announced live on Mobile World Live TV at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Tuesday, February 23.

Learn more about the award winning SPG App or download it for iOS or Android.

We’re excited for our partners at Starwood Hotels & Resorts. Please join us in congratulating them on this achievement.

October 23, 2015

SPG App Updates on Both Android and iOS

If you’re one of the many who enjoys the SPG App, you’ll love hearing about the features they’ve added in the latest iOS and Android updates.

3D Touch demo for SPG App

The iOS app recently upgraded to version 6.0.1., which includes new 3D Touch ‘Quick Actions' where users can find and book a nearby hotel right from their home screens. Users will also be able to access Apple Wallet under a new section for easy access to customer support numbers and account information like Starpoints, member levels, and other account management tools.

“[Apps like SPG] are leading the industry by implementing 3D Touch,” stated Lead iOS Developer Amanda Chappell. “It gets users to the most important parts of the app quicker and [users can] streamline the booking process more quickly. [There are] fewer steps involved, making [Starwood guest’s] stay more convenient.”

We’re also excited to announce that the latest version of the SPG iOS app received a feature on the Apple Store the Saturday after its release.

The biggest changes are for the Android version of the app, which upgraded to version 4.0. Users now have the capability to manage everything from account information to hotel booking from the app. There has also been an update in design, allowing for a better usability flow for travelers.

The app has also integrated features that will allow users to make the most out of their membership – partners, programs, and even member favorites. The latest update keeps travelers on track by providing important information during their stay. The icing on the cake is the new keyless check-in and a new in-stay experience, which lets users travel easier and save them time so they can enjoy their stay.

Starwood prides themselves on creating the best experience for their guest’s stay. The updated iOS and Android apps will drive users to do things differently during their stay and create an interactive experience they can’t find at other hotels.

If you’re a fan of the Starwood Hotels & Resorts, make sure to download the newly updated versions of the apps on the Apple Store and Google Play.

Visit our blog to read more about Bottle Rocket’s latest app launches.

May 13, 2015

Key Takeaways for Mobile App Loyalty from SPG

Loyalty and reward programs deliver loads of expected perks. But what about the total mobile app user experience? Surely more is possible with a loyalty mobile app than pushing coupons and logging reward points.

Following the path of true customer value offers rewards of a different kind. For both customers and businesses alike.

Starwood Hotels and Resorts is a great example of a brand that demonstrated that a user journey focus is a real linchpin to success. Such an approach was inherent in the development and deployment of SPG Keyless, the Starwood Preferred Guest® (SPG®) loyalty and rewards mobile app.

SPG Keyless is the hospitality industry’s first truly mobile and keyless entry system. In essence, it allows guests to use their smartphones as a key at Aloft, Element and W Hotels around the world. In addition to a smoother, more efficient hotel experience, the app ultimately resulted in a revolutionized user experience.


Here are three key takeaways on loyalty app success we can learn from Starwood Hotels & Resorts:

Takeaway #1: Your customer holds the answer

The Starwood team surveyed travelers and guests. The survey revealed two key benefits of major importance with users. First, personalization and customization. Users wanted control over their own individual room preferences, and the SPG® mobile app delivered down to the last detail. Want a room with a view? No problem. Need to be close to the elevator? You got it.

The second desired benefit was saving time. Transforming a smartphone into a room key at over 1000 locations in 100 different countries accomplished exactly that. Oh, did we mention it also gives you the ability to skip front desk check-in? That’s a time saver we can all appreciate.

Takeaway #2: Leverage inherit assets

The SPG mobile app held a major advantage over others in the space: the Starwood-owned physical locations themselves. This proved an ideal environment for beta testing. It also provided a wealth of feedback from users, guests, travelers and the hospitality staff (associates) as well.

All of these factors played a vital role in the utility the SPG mobile app ultimately delivered. In fact, freeing associates of many transactional duties helped them become true brand ambassadors for Starwood and its related properties.

Takeaway #3: Lead, follow or get out of the way

Starwood could have taken the safe route. Offered some nice amenities and simply “me too” the app design. They didn’t. And we as the developers of the mobile app didn’t either. That doesn’t mean there weren’t obstacles or challenges. There were plenty. Security issues had to be considered, and an extensive process for cataloging room amenities had to be developed, to name a few. In short, the SPG team delivered far more than just a loyalty app.

They provided a key brand difference and reason to choose Starwood over other properties.


What’s your experience (be honest) with loyalty and rewards programs?

Share your feedback in the comments on what’s worked or what frustrates you. (See we can do surveys too!) Need guidance on your next mobile app design project? Contact us and let’s talk.

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