Sunday, June 24, 2018

Luxury Lodgings Re-Brand for Millennials

I always view with interest and professional curiosity when an industry endeavors to re-brand and shift its focus - this type of branding is monumental. We are witnessing this in the luxury hotel industry, as the brands in this sector adjust to a younger consumer that is driving the market.

Travelers looking for relevant experience in luxe environment
Consumer Experience (CX) is the big buzz in branding and the luxury hotel group is no exception as they strive to tap into the experiences that luxury travelers desire, and selecting the right markets to enter has become key.

Millennials are forcing the re-branding as they have tremendous spending power - spending over $2 billion on travel this year and looking for more than accommodation, they want an experience. To adjust, the luxe hotel brands like Four Seasons, W Hotels, Mandarin Oriental, Rosewood, and others are not only refitting existing locations but are also entering new markets where there is an emphasis on  youthful, affluent audiences. Cities where there is a prominence of music, fashion, and creative arts both in the U.S. and overseas. From Sao Paulo to Athens, New Orleans to Scottsdale the move is on to build new and re-brand the old. It's all about servicing a new traveler type - the 'affluent explorer'. 

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The hospitality industry see this new demographic as less interested with opulence, pampering, and traditional luxury and instead seeks deeper connections, authenticity and insights into the cultures  where they travel.  This re-brand by the luxe hotel industry is looking to new, undiscovered destinations and endeavor to shift the epicenter of culture and cool.

A lot of research and brand strategy is performed to ensure the brand is not harmed but bolstered by the shift to a different market focus. This is an opportunity and a challenge which requires plenty of attention on brand outreach, particularly when entering an overseas locale.

Look for these new luxe lodgings popping up and how the re-branding of the industry takes place.

Jim Lavorato
Principal, Fund-House Ventures

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