Leveraging Trends in the Spa Industry

By Melinda Minton Executive Director, SPAA | July 02, 2017

So much has changed in the past year in the spa arena. New equipment, expectations, ingredients, products and protocols are re-defining how a brand markets the spa. With all of these changes come adjustments to demographics and surpassing the expectations of the spa goer with advancements that respect core values, wants and needs.

Millennials

Millennials are people who may have been born between the year 1982 and the year 2002. They are considered to be among the most privileged generation on Earth, since they were born at a time of great technological advancement and general education. Worldwide, [millennials] are the largest living generation, composing 25 percent of the United States population and even larger percentages in Latin and Middle Eastern countries and comprise 20% of worldwide travelers. Finding a formula to please this new paradigm of spa goer and traveler is proving to be challenging.

  • Communal - Some researchers note that Millennials are likely to have more liberal political views compared to their predecessors who were more conservative. This is because of the level of awareness in regards to equality, human rights and the environment. This generation has a tendency to accommodate divergent views and seek out ways to solve matters in a manner acceptable to all parties.

  • Value - Millennials are frequent travelers who seek value at the spa. Whether travelling for business or leisure, millennials expect the spa to reflect the culture that they are visiting. This group is likely to diverge from the path of the older generation of traveler and will detect discrepancies in pricing. However, this group has grown up in luxury. They will gladly pay more, they simply want to be self-assured that their services are logical and produce results. Home care retail items are expected to correlate price equals ingredients, research backing and a result focus.

  • Fast - Because millennials have grown up with technology, they are most likely to expect a rapid experience. For instance, experiencing a pedicure with a 55-minute massage is convenient. A four-handed massage is a treatment they would pay extra for, expecting the service to be over the top indulgent.

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Coming up in February 2019...

Social Media: Getting Personal

There Social media platforms have revolutionized the hotel industry. Popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Tumblr now account for 2.3 billion active users, and this phenomenon has forever transformed how businesses interact with consumers. Given that social media allows for two-way communication between businesses and consumers, the emphasis of any marketing strategy must be to positively and personally engage the customer, and there are innumerable ways to accomplish that goal. One popular strategy is to encourage hotel guests to create their own personal content - typically videos and photos -which can be shared via their personal social media networks, reaching a sizeable audience. In addition, geo-locational tags and brand hashtags can be embedded in such posts which allow them to be found via metadata searches, substantially enlarging their scope. Influencer marketing is another prevalent social media strategy. Some hotels are paying popular social media stars and bloggers to endorse their brand on social media platforms. These kinds of endorsements generally elicit a strong response because the influencers are perceived as being trustworthy by their followers, and because an influencer's followers are likely to share similar psychographic and demographic traits. Travel review sites have also become vitally important in reputation management. Travelers consistently use social media to express pleasure or frustration about their guest experiences, so it is essential that every review be attended to personally. Assuming the responsibility to address and correct customer service concerns quickly is a way to mitigate complaints and to build brand loyalty. Plus, whether reviews are favorable or unfavorable, they are a vital source of information to managers about a hotel's operational performance.  The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to effectively incorporate social media strategies into their businesses.