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Marketing and Building Meaningful Brands in the Hospitality Sector

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In today’s fast changing world, the reasons that brought yesterdays’ customer to your hotel are evolving. Big brands are buying up hotels and merging like never before. OTA’s are taking increasingly larger bites out of independent property occupancies. Online bookers read an average of twelve reviews before deciding on a hotel. Brands like Airbnb & MakeMyTrip have reshaped the hospitality and technology industry forever.

The guests of today are not the guests of yesterday, and their expectations are radically different. From business travel, to leisure to holidaying hotels are expected to cater to varying requirements by traveller type. With the Millennial generation fast becoming the largest customer group it is critical to understand them and what they are looking for when they travel.Globally, millennial (those ages 18-34) travellers constitute around one-fifth of international tourists and about three-fifths of the world’s millennials are from Asia and out of this cohort, 33% are from India or China.

Destination weddings are emerging very fast and the requirement for the customer here is completely different. So are destination conferences for businesses. Hence, the hospitality industry needs to keep all such requirements in mind to provide the right experience to the right customer.

Companies need to define their strategies based on this demographic group’s personality traits and habits—they travel a lot; are early adopters of technology; like personalized interactions and are spontaneous and impulsive. Hotels will want to please them with easy check-in and gourmet dining experiences at reasonable prices. In return, satisfied millennials will actively promote their businesses on social media channels.

Consumers today thrive on experiences that are memorable and lasting. And one way to create memorable experience, is to make it meaningful.

According to a research conducted by Havas Group, in order for a brand to be meaningful, it needs to improve the quality of people’s lives in a tangible, substantial, and fulfilling way. Globally, Travel & Tourism ranks No. 1 as the most meaningful industry while in India it stands at No. 10. The study also reveals new data that tracks the relationship between a brand’s performance, its meaningfulness and the content it produces. Shockingly, 60% of the content provided by brands is just not meaningful to consumers. When it comes to content, the expectations differ from industry to industry. Again, Travel & Tourism ranks no. 1 globally in terms of content effectiveness with 47% respondents associating the travel industry with effective content such as customer support and social media sharing.

Building connections through meaningful campaigns –

Client: The Republic of Palau

Consumers want brands to provide value to their lives—while also showing commitment to society and the environment. And whether it’s by positively benefitting their family, work, social life, or community, it’s today’s meaningful brand that is winning.

The Palau Pledge campaign created by Host/Havas (Australia), in partnership with the Palau Legacy Project, drew attention to sustainability and the ecological challenges related to tourism. Palau, the thirteenth smallest nation in the world with a population of less than 20,000 people, became the first country in the world to ask visitors to sign declaration in passports to protect its environment and culture for next generation. Palau Pledge was a world-first eco-initiative that put an onus on ‘responsible, sustainable tourism’ from the growing number of tourists who have visited the island in recent years.

Client: Emirates Airlines 

Emirates is a market leader in India and as a brand, they constantly strive to become more and meaningful every year. In a category such as airlines, consumers are driven by experiences – whether it is the on-board cuisine, sitting comfort, the boarding process among other factors. The focus of the brand building initiatives, hence is very experiential; whether it is a partnership with a lifestyle channel to showcase the customized cuisines created by celebrity chefs which is available on-board or whether it is about using virtual reality to make consumers experience the airline and the destinations it flies to. Emirates ‘World in My Kitchen’ and ‘Be There’,both campaigns fulfilled the criteria of creating personalized experiences that were memorable and lasting.

Client: Dubai Tourism

Dubai Tourism is yet another future-first and meaningful brand. Promoting Dubai as a go-to destination was a task for an audience that resists tradition advertising and the biggest challenge was to create a differentiation and a zing factor about Dubai. Music videos emerged as the most popular content on YouTube, with 84% of total view. Co-creating a music video by Imagine Dragons in partnership with Universal Music Group, which showcased Dubai in black and white lent the Z factor to Dubai as a destination, thus collaborating, to place the city of Dubai in the heart of the content people love. The song ‘Thunder’ not only topped the charts with over 200 million views but also boosted consideration for Dubai as a holiday destination.

Anita Nayyar, CEO – India & South Asia, Havas Media Group and CEO – Havas Group, North India

Published in the June 2018 issue of Pitch

 

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