These electronic data can be combined with information gathered through conventional research to assist in brand management, and to ensure that the brand is meeting customers’ needs and developing a loyal following. The application of internet analytics involves making sense of diffuse information by collecting, categorizing, and analyzing immense volumes of material. Despite the availability of this information, well constructed mail surveys provide a more complete picture of customers’ views, because not all types of customer are represented on the internet or social media. In terms of customer loyalty, hospitality firms might do well to re-evaluate their loyalty programs and to segment program members according to their actual patronage. Hospitality managers are well aware that many loyalty program members are participating only for the discounts—and, indeed, one pitfall of such programs occurs when they offer discounts on main-line products rather than add-ons. Consequently, loyalty programs can inadvertently focus participants on price instead of on loyalty. Rather than deal with pricing, the focus of loyalty programs (and brand management in general) should be customer contact and recognition. The essential element of a brand is the promise of a set of benefits that the brand provides its customers. To a great degree, hospitality customers are seeking experiences, and brand should provide those experiences, or, more specifically, create the framework that allows guests to have the experience they seek. Download the full paper "Building Brands in the Internet Age: Analytics, Loyalty, and Communication" at Cornell University