It comes down to the balance of hearts and minds -- consumers still want to be wooed and romanced -- this is a vacation, after all. But their hand is clenched tighter on their wallet. Yes, the economy is rebounding, and yes, people are beginning to spend again, but (and this is a big but) -- consumers are not shedding the recession mindset.
I have full faith that the newly merged United and Continental will rise to the challenge and really make things interesting for consumers like me. And either way, we should all look at this as a case study in the brand impact on loyalty programs M&A creates.
While everyone continues to ponder the continuous shift of marketing budgets from traditional media to digital (and social), I'm wondering why more marketers aren't shifting dollars to enhance their organization's ability to service guests and motivate employees.