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 November 2018...

Architecture & Design: Expecting the Unexpected

There are more than 700,000 hotels and resorts worldwide and the hotel industry is continually looking for new ways to differentiate its properties. In some cases, hotels themselves have become travel destinations and guests have come to expect the unexpected - to experience the touches that make the property unlike any other place in the world. To achieve this, architects and designers are adopting a variety of strategies to meet the needs of every type of guest and to provide incomparable customer experiences. One such strategy is site-integration - the effort to skillfully marry a hotel to its immediate surroundings. The goal is to honor the cultural location of the property, and to integrate that into the hotel's design - both inside and out. Constructing low-impact structures that blend in with the environment and incorporating local natural elements into the design are essential to this endeavor. Similarly, there is an ongoing effort to blur the lines between interior and exterior spaces - to pull the outside in - to enable guests to connect with nature and enjoy beautiful, harmonious surroundings at all times. Another design trend is personalization - taking the opportunity to make every space within the hotel original and unique. The days of matching decor and furniture in every room are gone; instead, designers are utilizing unexpected textures, mix-and-match furniture, diverse wall treatments and tiles - all to create a more personalized and fresh experience for the guest. Finally, lobbies are continuing to evolve. They are being transformed from cold, impersonal, business-like spaces into warm, inviting, living room-like spaces, meant to provide comfort and to encourage social interaction. These are a few of the current trends in the fields of hotel architecture and design that will be examined in the November issue of the Hotel Business Review.