Aren't We All Like Millennials Anyway?
The World Has Changed and Hotel Marketing Needs to Keep Up
By DJ Vallauri Founder and CEO, Lodging Interactive | May 29, 2016
A lot has been said and written about the "millennial traveler" and how "different" their travel and hotel needs are. How connected and ambitious they are, the young movers and the shakers in the modern business world. In fact, nearly every major hotel brand believes millennial travelers are seeking new places to stay when traveling, new experiences, new ways to connect, new ways to stay healthy while on the road and so on.
New millennial brands continue to launch onto the scene. Brands like Marriott's Moxy, Hilton's TRU, Starwood's Aloft and Hyatt's Centric all seeking to be positioned to grab the growing share of millennial traveler. Really? Maybe when you have market saturation on nearly every street corner in America it makes sense for the franchisors to create something new...like a hotel designed for the new millennial traveler...to sell to investors and new franchisees. Humm. Could all this wanting to cater to the millennial traveler be really about selling more franchised hotel properties? Well, I digress but this got me to thinking about how different millennial travel needs really are in comparison to other generations.
I myself was born in 1964 and am classified by most generational characteristic charts as a Generation X'er. Over my lifetime I have traveled extensively throughout the world and have stayed in, probably, hundreds of hotels in doing so. I know what I like and what I look for in a hotel and that varies whether I'm on vacation or business, or if I'm staying city center or in a resort destination. I don't believe I'm any different than anybody else or different than the millennial traveler. Let's take a look at the way generations have been classified. Note that dates are approximates and there are no standard definitions for when a generation begins and ends.
Select Generational Characteristics
As per Ron Zemke, Claire Raines, Bob Filipczak; Generations at Work, 2000
When considering the above sample generational differences, you can see they're not all that different. In my mind, at least not so different that new hotel brands need to be developed and launched to capture a new market. For example, last year Red Roof announced their new brand Red Roof Plus+, an upscale economy line with designs that appeal to millennials. Updates included new carpet, countertops, sinks and amenities like flat-screen TVs, Serta beds and free snack boxes. Doesn't any generation appreciate new carpet, countertops, sinks, etc.? You get my point? Why create a new brand and pitch it as being for millennials?
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