The Authentic Experience?
Certain products, properties and promotions have inherent appeals for customer segments, but there are others which are designed to appeal to a mind-set, rather than an age group.
More today want local, they want it to be unique, they want it to be social and they want it to be authentic. This is not just an appeal from the millennial generation, many customers crave the unique but the difference is that the millennials post more about it online and on social channels. Other generation still have the conversations and rave about the experiences, but in other forms of non-trackable word of mouth.
Do more businesses in the Hospitality industry need to appeal to wider groups by providing single services for each? Or does this confuse the customer and turn away business rather than attract it? Is it just millennials who want unique experiences? How is an authentic experience provided?
Hotels and restaurants mostly offer an experience which is admittedly usually independent but designed for all guests. It is possible that due to the desire for experiences and memories which are different, some may have to change their approach or offer. Do more businesses need to provide and promote valuable offers which stands apart from their usual services?
The experienced traveller knows the hotel, they may have stayed before, visited the location or have knowledge from friends on where to go and what to do. The young restaurant goer may see some good reviews on a website, but there are five other restaurants nearby with similar reviews. How does a hotel or a restaurant offer something different which targets both of these groups?
They want to keep current customers and capture new ones, so should they provide various different offers and amend their appeal? But this change may appear like the business is desperate for business, which it may be, but this could put potential customers off.
For appeal a business may offer:
- Local recommendations for activities and experiences near the hotel
- A walk the front desk like to take
- Short-term meeting space
- A bar the kitchen team recommends
- A new gallery which no one has experienced yet
- Parking rentals
- Gym membership
- An urban experience – routes around popular buildings
- An rural experience – routes around parks and gardens
By providing recommendations such as this, it may spur the interest level of the customer who in turn would use the business and try one of the recommendations. By providing something a bit different, something authentic, it does create a unique experience and one which the customer can create in their own way. The business in return grows its audience and from that should hopefully grow.
Some will argue that businesses in hospitality have a limited pool; a hotel has bedrooms and a restaurant has tables. This is no longer the case and by creating further appeal, in the widest sense, new avenues of revenue are generated.
A community of fans are the strong backbone to many businesses. The relationship between a customer and company can start in many ways, so why not keep that going for as long as possible.
When did you last have an authentic experience?
Is this really needed for businesses which are successful?
What does the future hold for those who have lots of competition?