That One Thing: Frequent Travelers' Value-Driven Amenity Asks
By Carrie Trimble Associate Professor of Marketing, Millikin University | February 2024
It's a list that's so recognizable it's a cliche:
- Phone charger
- Prescription meds
- Your left brown loafer
Maybe not the shoe. (Maybe that's just me.)
The rest of the list, however, are those items that are frequently forgotten by travelers. Who are then forced to beg the front desk staff for disposable replacements or directions to go off shopping for duplicates of what was left at home. This frequent service exchange between hotel staff and guests can be more than a generic hand off of indistinguishable offerings. Savvy hoteliers can turn that cliche of a service request into a positive brand distinction by providing options that fit the current values and needs of their guests.
The Current Market
To best understand which hotel amenities move beyond cliche and into positive brand distinction, let's consider the context of the current consumer market. Recently, global consumers have shown a tendency to be cautious and focused on conscientious purchase decisions. Respondents to the Euromonitor International Voice of the Consumer: Lifestyles Survey said that over 40% made it a priority to find a bargain. Similarly, over 30% of those surveyed said they would rather buy fewer high quality things with their budgets than buy a larger quantity of lower quality items. Euromonitor also reports that the spending spree that followed the pandemic lockdown has come to an end for most. (Consumers in Asia are the major exception.) Over 45% of global consumers reported plans to set aside funds for contingencies and emergencies.
Consumers, in general, are trying to be intentional with their spending. Younger consumers are even more cautious. While the combined purchasing power of the young adults in Gen Z is considerable, the ever-increasing costs of housing leaves many early career consumers with less disposable income than older generations had at this same point in their lives. That means the bulk of disposable income is in the hands of aging consumers--Baby Boomers in their 70s and the oft-overlooked Gen Xers in their 50s--who have more free time and different needs than younger consumers.