Como as marcas mais bem sucedidas de viagens vão abraçar novas tendências e experiências interativas.
It is no secret that the millennial generation has been making headlines as the largest and arguably the most influential demographic in the United States today. These young adults, born between 1977 and 2000, are changing traditional marketing schemas as well as the way organizations are thinking about their brands. One industry that has been and will be greatly affected by this powerhouse generation is the travel industry. Since 1914, when the first commercial flight took off from St. Petersburg-Tampa, the travel industry has driven a wave of technological innovation. Now, a whole new transformation fueled by the millennial generation will emerge.
Millennial travel trends worth paying attention to:
1. Thirst for adventure
When considering travel, millennials are almost twice as likely as non-millennials to book a vacation that includesoutdoor adventure activities like mountain climbing, hiking, river rafting or camping. The most successful brands have created opportunities for millennials to not only have outstanding travel adventures but to also share those adventures with their personal and public networks.
GoPro, a handheld “life proof” camera, has reinvented the way millennials are sharing their adventures. Nick Woodman, founder and creator of GoPro, created the camera in 2004 when he wanted to find a way to capture his epic surf moments to share with his friends. For Woodman, and many millennials, the adventure is only half of the story. The other half is who else sees you participating in that adventure. The key is to not only quench a millennial’s thirst for adventure, but to also create ways they can experience that thrill with their networks.
2. Democratization of fairness(TM)
The travel industry especially has been greatly impacted by the Democratization of Fairness. Simply put, the Democratization of Fairness is a millennial ideology that emphasizes the value of equal access to brand experiences, etc. Traditionally, travel was only available for the wealthiest vacationers. Millennials, however, see travel as a vital piece of their life journey. They expect brands to create ways for them to have international and domestic travelexperiences at an affordable price.
Airbnb is the perfect example of what happens with the Democratization of Fairness ideology is applied to the travel industry. For a millennial traveling on a budget, hotels can be pricey. Why not crash on someone’s couch for the week at a much lower cost? Both the couch owner and the traveler win. Essentially, Airbnb has turned my living room couch into an indirect competitive alternative to a hotel chain. If this doesn’t get you rethinking your competitive landscape, I don’t know what will. The Democratization of FairnessTM has threatened traditional brands that expect millennials to pay a premium for services they can get elsewhere.
3. Travel experiences can be personal brand badges
When Boomers grew up, Cadillac was one of the most coveted “brand badges.” If you had a Cadillac, you were on top. Fast-forward to 2014 and those brand badges have changed. If yousee a millennial walking down the street holding a portable coffee mug, chances are that mug will have a Starbucks logo facing out so that everyone knows, “Hey, I get my Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks, I’m in the cool crowd.”
Thinking about travel, the brand badge is often more about the trip itself—not the amenities that come with the trip. Ask a millennial what she did last summer and she will tell you she spent the best summer of her life traveling all over Europe. But, ask her where she stayed and she will look at you and ask why it even matters. When Boomers and Gen Xers travel, they may expect a hotel with cooking classes, wine tasting tours or the full spa experience. Millennials however, are happy staying at hostels with their friends and often prefer experiences outside of the hotel. In fact, millennial travelers do not seek out the “traditional sun, sea and sand holidays” that Boomers still prefer.
4. Brand value defined for the future of travel
When talking about millennial brand preferences, it is important to remember that millennials see brands differently than every other generation. Traditionally, a brand’s value was determined by the sum of the emotional and functional benefits divided by the price. Makes sense right? For millennials however, travel is a completely interactive experience. The participative benefits offered by travel brands are just as, if not more, important than the functional and emotional benefits. Additionally, for millennial travelers, price is replaced by total cost, which includes more factors than just the price of the trip.
The most successful travel brands of Tomorrowland will embrace these new trends and create interactive experiences for millennial travelers that are worth their time AND dollars. While Airbnb is an extremely attractive option for millennials today, in the next five years we predict that travel brands will start bidding on millennials with flexible schedules who seek “amazing experiences” instead of the other way around.
What if, in the future there is a site that allows a millennial to upload their travel bucket list? Hotels, airlines, tourist attractions, etc. can then have the opportunity to “bid” on the millennial’s list. This creates an environment of high participation and low total cost. While this may seem far-fetched, it aligns with the key millennial travel trends of today.