Airbnb, HomeAway, TrustedHousesitters, Hostelworld and Couchsurfing are just a few of the places travellers are flocking to when booking travel accommodation. You’ll notice Marriott, Hilton, Radisson and Hyatt aren’t on that list. They’ve noticed too.
The age of hotelier domination has come to an abrupt end, leaving the Hilton’s of the world to adapt or die. This disruption of a defined system is bringing the top marketing and sales executives in the business back to the drawing board when evaluating how exactly they will tackle the challenge of staying relevant.
Enter millennial marketing, or as we like to call it, millennial mania. Hotel management companies and brand name chains are testing boutique inspired spin-off hotels that offer the customized, tech-infused experiences savvy travellers are looking for today. Hilton debuted their new “ Tru by Hilton” hotels in 2016 and other chains have followed: Hyatt Centric, Radisson RED, Hotel EMC2 and Residence Inn by Marriott to name a few.
Before the eye-rolling and nay-saying commence at the mention of a millennial driven marketing strategy, keep in mind this recent trend can benefit a wide variety of audiences, not simply those born between the years of 1982-2004.
In a recent interview with Canada’s National Post , Rose Anderson — vice president of global branding and innovation with Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group — is quoted as saying “It’s not so much about the age; it’s more about the behaviours that have been kind of pegged to the millennials: very social, online, connected. We are very much targeting a millennial mind-set versus a generational audience,”
How will they do this? From what has been observed thus far, the key components to attracting the young and young-at-heart are: affordability, visual appeal, a local connection to “off the beaten path” hot spots, advanced tech specs and publicly shared spaces like cafes, work spaces and social hub’s.
Only time will tell whether this strategy proves successful, but until then, travellers have a decision on their hards. So what will it be? Hostel or Hilton? Couchsurfing or cushy digs at Carlson?