Hospitality is no longer just for hospitality brands. Increasingly, there’s an intersection between hospitality industry skill sets and brands across all industries.
For all brands today, it boils down to the experience. Experiences are what customers have come to expect and are the cultural passion that drives purchase behavior for younger generations. It’s not enough to simply buy a product or service—consumers want to live it. To be successful, brands need to connect with both audience and cultural passions. This way, brands can stay at the heart of the cultural conversation, remaining relevant to society at large and also driving loyalty with their share of the consumer base. Built upon personal transformation, brands have to add value to lives across the entire hierarchy of needs.
This is especially true for brands in the luxury sector that are looking to target the new luxury consumer. More than other groups, affluents expect brands to show thoughtfulness through the experience. Hospitality may have been one of the first industries to put a premium on experience, but for affluent consumers, this expectation has now spread to all brands they engage with, no matter the sector. Having a great product is table stakes, but what separates the brands affluents will gravitate toward in the future from those they will forget about is this: the distribution of an elevated experience, built into the product from the beginning. The experiences that affluents identify with will need to be the cornerstone of brands looking to attract this valuable consumer group moving forward.
The core purpose of a brand can no longer be the product itself, but allowing the target audience to experience it with others like them. The most successful brand experiences are less about the brands themselves and more about life. Communication can no longer be centered on the point of transaction but instead must extend to encompass the entirety of the consumer journey and provide a mechanism for conversation and interaction.
A continual relationship between the brand and its customer is an integral part of that tribe-like mentality. Customers have come to expect 24/7 access. Additionally, brands need to anticipate and relieve the pain points of consumers so that, like a hotel, the product helps them rest and recharge—expending their energy and valuable time elsewhere on other pursuits.
Brands can learn a lot from the hospitality industry. Taking care of the consumer while providing them respite and an opportunity to live an experience in 360 degrees is at the core of the hospitality mentality. For today’s consumer and tomorrow’s, those are the goals that will differentiate between brands that fail and those that succeed.