Making Dollars and Sense Out of Gen Y: Y Sized Strategies to Fuel Business Growth

By Roberta Chinsky Matuson President, Matuson Consulting | March 11, 2012

They've been called a lot of names including Gen Y, Millennials, Echo Boomers and some that aren't very flattering. But make no mistake. This group of people will change everything you think you know about doing business. Gen Y, those born after 1978, has already overtaken Baby Boomers in sheer numbers and is on the brink to do the same with its incomes by 2017. If you are looking to grow your brand, look no further. This generation is over 70 million strong. And that's just here in the US. Demographics are shifting, and the younger generation is entering the hotel world and they're looking for a completely different experience than their Boomer parents. Here's why.

Getting to know Gen Y

Gen Y is the most transparent generations of all times. Thanks to social media, we know exactly what they are thinking at any given time. Or at least we think we do. To better understand Gen Y, we need to take a look at the events and circumstances that have had a powerful influence over this generation.

Technology. Technology has made the world a much smaller place and no one knows this better than Gen Y. The 9-11 terrorist attack that took place on US soil was played and replayed in front of their eyes, 24/7. This was a moment in time when many realized how life could change on a dime.

Hovering Parents. Those "Helicopter Parents," who swooped down to handle everything on their children's behalf, have raised a generation that relies heavily on the advice of their parents, even though many are now parents themselves. Parents are still an influencing force of Gen Y workers and consumers, as many consider them to be their best friends.

Trophies for all. The trophy business spiked in the eighties and nineties as every child received a trophy for every event, even when they were the only ones registered in a particular category. This desire for "special" treatment continues to play out in businesses around the globe.

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Coming up in January 2019...

Mobile Technology: The Future is Now

Mobile Technology continues to advance at a relentless pace and the hotel industry continues to adapt. Hotel guests have shown a strong preference for mobile self-service - from checking-in/out at a hotel kiosk, to ordering room service, making dinner reservations, booking spa treatments, and managing laundry/dry cleaning services. And they also enjoy the convenience of paying for these services with smart phone mobile payments. In addition, some hotels have adopted a “concierge in your pocket” concept. Through a proprietary hotel app, guests can access useful information such as local entertainment venues, tourist attractions, event calendars, and medical facilities and services. In-room entertainment continues to be a key factor, as guests insist on the capacity to plug in their own mobile devices to customize their entertainment choices. Mobile technology also allows for greater marketing opportunities. For example, many hotels have adopted the use of “push notifications” - sending promotions, discounts and special event messages to guests based on their property location, purchase history, profiles, etc. Near field communication (NFC) technology is also being utilized to support applications such as opening room doors, earning loyalty points, renting a bike, accessing a rental car, and more. Finally, some hotels have adopted more futuristic technology. Robots are in use that have the ability to move between floors to deliver room service requests for all kinds of items - food, beverages, towels, toothbrushes, chargers and snacks. And infrared scanners are being used by housekeeping staff that can detect body heat within a room, alerting staff that the room is occupied and they should come back at a later time. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in this exciting mobile technology space.